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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Peter Calthorpe
Architect and Urban Designer serving as lead planner for "Louisiana Speaks"

Peter Calthorpe is the lead planner for the "Louisiana Speaks" long-term community planning initiative. Mr. Calthorpe was named one of 25 'innovators on the cutting edge' by Newsweek Magazine for his work redefining the models of urban and suburban growth in America. His long and honored career in urban design, planning, and architecture began in 1976, combining his experience in each discipline to develop new approaches to urban revitalization, suburban growth, and regional planning.

Mr. Calthorpe's early published work includes technical papers, articles for popular magazines, and a number of seminal books, including Sustainable Communities with Sim Van der Ryn, and the Pedestrian Pocket Book with Doug Kelbaugh. The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community, and the American Dream, published in 1993, introduced the concept of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) and provided extensive guidelines and illustrations of their broad application. His latest book with William Fulton, The Regional City: Planning for the End of Sprawl, explains how regional-scale planning and design can integrate urban revitalization and suburban renewal into a coherent vision of metropolitan growth.

Mr. Calthorpe has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and South America. He has taught at U.C. Berkeley, the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, and the University of North Carolina. Over the years he has received numerous honors and awards, including appointment to the President's Councils for Sustainable Development.

After studying at Yale's Graduate School of Architecture, he joined the Farrallones Institute as Director of Design. Following, Calthorpe became a project designer at the California Office of the State Architect, working on energy-efficient state office buildings and planning for the Capital Area. Beginning private practice in 1978, with the firm of Van der Ryn, Calthorpe and Partners, his work ranged from large community planning to commercial complexes and public buildings. His architecture, planning, and research from this period established his leadership in passive solar design, producing countless publications and three National HUD awards.

During the Clinton presidency, Mr. Calthorpe provided direction for HUD's Empowerment Zone and Consolidated Planning Programs as well as the Hope VI program to rebuild some of the country's worst public housing projects. In 1992, he became a founder of the Congress for New Urbanism and was its first board president.

Since forming Calthorpe Associates in 1983, his work has expanded to include major projects in urban, new town, and suburban settings in the United States and abroad. With groundbreaking work in Portland, Salt Lake, Austin, the Twin Cities, and Los Angeles, he has helped established the emerging field of regional design.

Internationally his work in Japan, China, Italy, Tunis, Jordon, Australia, and the Philippines has demonstrated that community design with a focus on environmental sustainability and human scale can be adapted throughout the globe.

Through design, innovation, publications, and realized projects, Peter Calthorpe's 30 year practice has helped solidify a national trend towards the key principals of New Urbanism: that successful places-whether neighborhoods, villages, or urban centers-must be diverse in use and user, walkable and transit-oriented, and environmentally sustainable.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

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How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

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