2018 Rocky Mountain Land Use Conference


27th Annual Rocky Mountain Land Use Conference
Western Places/Western Spaces:
Disruption, Innovation, and Progress

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For the 2018 Western Places/Western Spaces land use conference, the theme is disruption and how we can plan for an uncertain future full of unknown changes to business practices, new technologies, and disasters. It is a daunting to challenge to plan for the unknown, and yet, as land use planners and practitioners, that’s exactly what we do every day. This year’s program will look at disruptive influences in housing, transportation, natural resources management, and urban planning, as well as how communities across the West are meeting this challenge.

Join RMLUI and leading industry professionals on March 8 & 9 for Western Places/Western Spaces: Disruption, Innovation, and Progress. As an added bonus, sign up for “The Fundamentals of Real Estate Law,” a full day workshop on Wednesday, March 7 that will provide an introductory course on the legal foundation for real estate transactions. For more information about our sponsors, the program, registration fees, and planning your trip, please review the content on this web site or contact us at rmlui@law.du.edu.

How do we plan for the future when we don’t know what it holds?

This is a common dilemma for planners and land use practitioners everywhere. Despite the best-laid plans, new practices or technology can disrupt the entire process. The sharing economy, smart city technology, and autonomous cars have already made a big impact in cities. But disruptive influences impact rural areas, too, as the use of drones for land management attests. In addition to all the change being brought about by technology and innovation, communities also have to contend with the disruptions brought on by natural processes. How do communities embed resilience and adaptation in their long-range planning to address potential impacts caused by extreme weather events? In a world full of disruptions, how do we build infrastructure and craft policies that not only meet our present-day needs, but also have the flexibility to adapt to future scenarios? These questions will help frame our discussions at the 2018 Western Places/Western Spaces conference.


Other highlights of the 2018 Western Places/Western Spaces conference are listed below. For a schedule and description of the sessions, please visit the RMLUI 2018 Program. We will post updates as they become available.


Our keynote this year is Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative. For years, people have known that being outside, or even seeing a slice of nature through a window, has made us calmer and more productive. Williams will discuss the effects of nature on brain chemistry and just why nature is not just important to our happiness, but also our cognitive abilities.

The Fundamentals of Real Estate Law

This full-day workshop on Wednesday, March 7 provides an introductory course for planners and lawyers on the legal foundation for real estate transactions. A panel of experts will cover everything about how real estate transactions work, from basic property law and covenants to the role of government and planners in the transactions.

Mobile Tours

Thursday’s tour, “Ditch the Ditch,” will visit the 10-mile stretch of Interstate 70 in northeast Denver where the current viaduct system is slated to be replaced by a widened below-grade segment. On Friday, plan to grab a lunch to eat on the way to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, home to a herd of bison. Hear from experts on how wildlife can be a real estate amenity, and learn how the bison are faring amidst the construction boom around the airport.


  • January 31, 2018: Early Bird Rate expires
  • February 13, 2018: Cutoff date at the Courtyard Marriott Cherry Creek
  • February 16, 2018: No refunds or cancellations after this date
  • March 2, 2018: Registration closes


A block of rooms has been reserved at the Courtyard Marriott Cherry Creek at a group rate of $145 per night excluding taxes. Call 1-888-238-1753 to book and mention RMLUI to receive our group rate or click on this link. Please note that the discounted rate is only available through February 13, 2018. A complimentary shuttle bus will be provided between the hotel and the University of Denver campus. Information about drop-off locations and timing will be sent one week before the conference.