Small Cities workshop set at UW-Stevens Point

A workshop on the planning and design of small cities and towns will be held at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

“The Built Environment: Planning and Design in Small Cities and Towns” will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, April 15-16, at the Dreyfus University Center at UW-Stevens Point. The free event is intended for city planners and officials, architects, designers, transportation officials and interested citizens. 

“The workshop focuses on the planning and designing small cities and towns as viable and sustainable places to live,” said Bob Wolensky, a professor emeritus of sociology at UW-Stevens Point and a co-director of the Center for the Small City at the university. "The conference is a continuation of the Center for the Small City's emphasis on the social, civic and environmental development of small communities."

Keynote speaker Duane Thorbeck will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday. He is the founder and director of the Center for Rural Design at the University of Minnesota. On Wednesday, the featured speaker will be Thomas Fisher at 12:45 p.m. Fisher is a professor of architecture and dean of the University of Minnesota’s College of Design. 

Six panel sessions on Wednesday will include presentations by various speakers with planning and design expertise. Former Stevens Point planner Bill Burke from Lansing, Iowa, will examine the history of the downtown Stevens Point mall and address new trends in downtown planning. Portage County Planning and Zoning Director Jeff Schuler and Stevens Point Community Development Director Michael Ostrowski will also speak. 

The workshop is co-sponsored by the Center for the Small City, Center of Land Use Planning, Division of Interior Architecture, Department of Geography and Geology, and the colleges of Letters and Science, Professional Studies and Natural Resources at UW-Stevens Point. 

A full conference program is at For more information, contact Wolensky at or Professor Ed Miller at


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