By Kailey Fisicaro

The Bulletin

If you go

• Thursday: Bend Film event at 7 p.m. at the Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St., Bend. Tickets are $5 before fees and available online.

• Friday: Future Fair during First Friday Gallery Walk from 5 to 9 p.m., free, in downtown Bend and the Makers District.

• Saturday: Livability Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Central Oregon Community College, 2600 NW College Way. There are two types of passes offered for the conference: a full-day pass for $10, which includes breakfast and lunch, or a free “a la carte” pass, which allows participants to take part in up to three sessions on neighborhood livability, housing and transportation.

• Sunday: Day of Action, free, at locations across Bend.

To buy tickets to the conference or film, or to find more information about other events in the project, visit: bendlivability.org.

A conference this weekend in Bend will teach residents about urban planning, growth, transportation and economic development.

Bend 2030, a nonprofit organization focused on managing the city’s growth by engaging the public, is putting on the four-day project in partnership with more than 50 sponsors.

The Bend Livability Project will run Thursday through Sunday, with four main events:

• A showing Thursday of the independent film “The Human Scale,” which looks at a new approach to urban planning

• A Future Fair, which will demonstrate what Bend could look like in the future, during the First Friday Gallery Walk

• The Livability Conference on Saturday, with sessions ranging from housing to transportation

• The Day of Action, which will include hands-on projects around town, on Sunday.

Erin Foote Morgan, executive director of Bend 2030, said the nonprofit is launching six new initiatives that will coincide with the Bend Livability Project.

Three of the initiatives address transportation, Foote Morgan said. A new transportation coalition called Move Bend will be devoted to building public support for transportation.

A Cascades East Transit Coalition will look to build a better transit system in Bend, and a transportation project managed by the city of Bend will identify potential improvements for cyclists and pedestrians. At the conference Saturday, there will be a discussion group about Move Bend, a session related to the CET Coalition called “How to Fund Transit AND Keep Your Car,” and two sessions about bike and pedestrian safety.

The fourth initiative relates to housing, Foote Morgan explained. Local stakeholders in the housing market will be invited to an exploratory workshop to discuss whether a housing work group focused on Bend should be created. This is one of the few invite-only sessions at the conference.

Kim Gammond, communications director for the Central Oregon Association of Realtors, will be at the exploratory meeting to help mediate.

She said she hasn’t seen a meeting like this before that will call together such diverse groups involved in the housing crisis. Those in attendance will include real estate agents , developers and members from Habitat for Humanity.

“There doesn’t have to be good guys and bad guys in these discussions. We all live here, and we all love it for a reason,” she said. “We keep seeing everything get caught up in politics, and this doesn’t have to be a political issue.”

The fifth initiative encourages residents to shape development in their areas by banding together to create design standards. The conference “Lessons from Division Street: Tangible Tools for Shaping City Policy” will allow residents to learn more about how they can identify the “culture and character” of their neighborhoods to communicate with developers, according to Foote Morgan. The speaker in the session is a woman who piloted the idea in her own neighborhood on Division Street in Portland.

Seth Anderson, founder of Ascent Architecture & Interiors in Bend, sat on the steering committee for the Bend Livability Project and will help lead the “Lessons from Division Street” session. “My hope for the outcome of the session is that, number one, residents will be able to better define the character of their neighborhood,” he said.

A sixth initiative centers around city governance and allows residents to ask the question, “Does Bend have the right City Council structure?” The City Club of Central Oregon will hold a special forum at the conference to discuss whether it’s time to review the city charter, which is like Bend’s constitution.

— Reporter: 541-383-0325, kfisicaro@bendbulletin.com

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