City Center Series returns in January

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If you’ve been good in 2017 and you’re a fan of urbanism, innovation and placemaking, you might just get tickets in your stocking to the third iteration of the City Center Series, kicking off the first month of the new year.

The popular lecture series, presented by the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs, allows participants an opportunity to “learn about the role of design in creating a more vibrant city through lectures, films, panels and more,” according to the Downtown Partnership.

Speaker schedule:

Jan. 24: Brent Toderian, urbanist and former chief planner, city of Vancouver, Canada.

Location: Celeste Theatre, Cornerstone Arts Center, Colorado College (825 N. Cascade Ave.)

This talk from urban planner Brent Toderian will focus on how transportation and mobility design affect a city’s environment, economy and cultural vitality. Presenting next-generation transit-oriented development concepts, Toderian helps citizens re-envision how their city’s transit systems impact their way of life, honing in on changes that will build a “complete city,” not just a livable one.

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Feb. 28: Dar Williams, singer-songwriter and author

Location: SaGaJi Theatre, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College (30 W. Dale St.)

In conjunction with her Feb. 27 concert at the Fine Arts Center, Downtown Partnership presents a conversational lecture from Dar Williams on her latest book, What I Found in a Thousand Towns. Described by The New Yorker as “one of America’s very best singer-songwriters,” Williams, through her book, tours towns across the country to colorfully illustrate what it takes for an urban center to thrive. At the intersection of urbanism and Americana, this lecture opens a new way of looking at the components of a successful community.

April 3: Charles Marohn, founder of Strong Towns

Location: Celeste Theatre, Cornerstone Arts Center, Colorado College (825 N. Cascade Ave.)

Best known as the author of Thoughts on Building Strong Towns, Marohn’s conversational talk focuses on how, with a limited budget, communities can build better infrastructure and resiliency for themselves. This “Neighborhoods First” approach says the best way to build a stronger town is by making small, incremental investments over time — not by waiting for change from the top down. By empowering active citizens, local officials and ordinary people to identify high-return opportunities already available in their community, Marohn’s presentation focuses on strategies to build a town that addresses citizens’ real-world needs in financially sustainable ways.

Events are 6-8 p.m. and doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be found at downtowncs.com/event/citycenter.