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Detroit's Cobo Center hosts Brownfields 2008 Conference May 5 - 7

Release Date: 05/02/2008
Contact Information: EPA) Mick Hans, (312) 353-5050, (EPA) Phillippa Cannon, (312) 353-6218, (Detroit/WC Port Authority) John Kerr, 313-331-3842,

No. 08-OPA080

Detroit's Cobo Center hosts Brownfields 2008 Conference May 5 - 7

CHICAGO (May 2, 2008) - Detroit hosts the National Brownfields 2008 Conference May 5 - 7 at Detroit's Cobo Center. More than 6,000 environmental and economic development officials, risk managers, planners, engineers and students are expected. Walk-up registration is free at the Cobo Center beginning Sunday, May 4, at noon.

Addressing brownfields - abandoned or underutilized properties stigmatized by past commercial or industrial uses - is a challenge for communities of every size. By focusing on redevelopment, properties are put back into productive use while helping to keep undeveloped lands in a natural state.

Conference highlights include:
* May 5, 9 a.m.: Opening plenary session with Bill Strickland, CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corp., on the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology, an innovative Grand Rapids job training, education and arts center.
* May 6, 11 a.m.: "CEOs for Downtowns: Business Leaders Talk About Their Urban Investments," with ex-Detroit Pistons star Dave Bing of the Bing Group, Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans and Peter Karmanos of Compuware.
* May 6, 4:15 p.m.: 2008 Town Meeting on the Redevelopment Marketplace, hosted by National Public Radio's Renee Montagne.

Brownfields 2008's educational program features more than 170 sessions on green development, remediation and risk management. The annual Phoenix Awards for top projects will be announced. Mobile workshops will highlight local approaches to redevelopment, including visits to Detroit's inner suburbs, the Downriver communities and Southwest Detroit. More than 300 exhibitors will display the latest technologies and services.

In an effort to reduce the event's carbon footprint, Brownfields 2008 attendees will be able to purchase NativeEnergy offsets to mitigate the global warming impact of their travel. Conference planners are also working with the Cobo Center to increase on-site recycling and waste reduction, as well as to use post-consumer recycled materials.

The National Brownfields Conference is managed by the International City/County Management Association in partnership with EPA.

See more information at

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