Wednesday, April 29, 2015

TDDA Conference, Murfreesboro, TN (04.28.15)

I recently attended (and presented at) the TDDA Conference in Murfreesboro, TN for the Smart Communities Initiative. As I have very limited experience with development districts, it was eye-opening to see some of the initiatives, challenges, and practices that the development districts were working on and how advances in technology for storm water and infrastructural developments could have far-reaching potentials. Some of the initiatives they have been working on and planning were very interesting and informative in terms of articulating regional programs and implementing them into rural areas.

From a professional standpoint, the conferences I have attended for working with the SCI and my involvement in SCI programs has been incredibly beneficial. Meeting with local officials, professionals, and citizens has given me a chance to learn more about the region as a whole and build a network of people that have access to a wide variety of resources. The relationship has been mutually beneficial, as I feel more confident in the ability to help engage them with students and faculty and attempt to connect them to courses or ideas that may benefit their local programs.

The conference itself was more like a round-table discussion. Although we did not receive very many questions from the audience, I felt that the questions we did receive were valuable and thought-provoking. I am looking forward to working with the development districts in the coming years and feel this is an incredibly valuable experience to work with municipal partners and have to operate on both political and social levels in practice.

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