Davis Futures Forum

Davis Futures Forum

The purpose of the Davis Futures Forum is to highlight innovative approaches to social, economic, and environmental sustainability through land use planning.

The Forum primarily accomplishes its work by arranging for nationally known experts to speak at local public venues and with help from experts and supporters at the City of Davis, UC Davis, and in the community.

Most Recent Forum:

I-80 Freeway Widening Teach In; Dec 7th 2023

See the video of this Zoom Presentation by clicking here.

Highlights links

1) 14:30 I-80 Managed Lanes Overview, History & Alternatives, Autumn Bernstein, Executive Director, Yolo Transportation District

2) 28:00 Induced Travel 101, Susan Handy, Director of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation

3) 50:00 Panelists

  • 53:38 Nailah Pope-Harden, Director of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation
  • 1:01 Stephen Wheeler, Professor of Urban Planning and Design,
  • 1:08 Don Mooney, Attorney, EIR Comment Advice

5) Q&A

Materials from the event:


See below for the collection of other Davis Future Forum Events since 2015 with links to our video collection on #LiveCoolDavis YouTube and DCTV.


We have a historic opportunity in the City of Davis to reduce greenhouse gases through land use planning regulations.

Early in 2016, the City declared its intent to update certain portions of the General Plan, including the Core Area Specific Plan (downtown).

The City is initiating this effort by hiring a consultant to first provide a visioning process to work with the community and gain consensus on how we should grow. This vision should serve to guide the development and adoption of new codes and regulatory processes.

The objectives of the Forum are to:

  1. Inform members of the community, including residents, business community, developers, city staff, and elected officials about cutting edge community development and land use practices adopted by other communities, and to
  2. Facilitate healthy discussions of planning concepts to promote more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable outcomes in Davis.

The Davis Futures Forum presents four to six events a year as opportunities, interest, and funds are available. Local professionals and community members volunteer their time to sustain this effort. Beginning September 2015, the Futures Forum has hosted several nationally known experts.

When possible these events are filmed for broad viewing by the community. Visit community television station DCTV for the whole collection.

Past events include:

Rick Cole: Community Engagement Starts@Home — Thursday, June 25, 2020. Cole shared his experiences in cities with constrained resources where cross-sector leaders have stepped up to address the problems, each contributing what they do best – from rewriting a general plan, to building a playground to removing a derelict building. Panel participants included Davis City Manager Mike Webb, Chair of the Davis Downtown Plan Advisory Committee, Meg Arnold, and Nico Fauchier-Magnan, President, Bike Davis. Councilmember Lucas Frerichs moderated. See the video of this presentation here.

Joe Minicozzi: Good Urban Planning Can Make Cities Richer, Feb 24, 2020. Joe’s presentation drew upon extensive data gathered from cities and towns across the US to illustrate where municipalities are getting the most bang for the buck in terms of the development choices they make. He uses the newest geographic information technologies to demonstrate complex relationships in a way that is simple for anyone to understand. See the video here

Daniel Faure and Yves Doligez: Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from France, December 6, 2019. This talk discussed the differences between carbon reduction efforts the US and Europe. The speaker, French engineer Daniel Fauré will focus in more detail on comparisons between efforts in similar geographies of France and California, and on locally-driven programs that offer opportunities for Davis. Hosted by Davis Mayor Brett Lee. See the video here.

Dr. Richard Jackson: How Your Cities Built Environment Affects Your Health, Nov 6, 2019. Former pediatrician and California’ s Chief Public Health Officer, and Director of the Centers for Disease Control’s Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta. Richard spoke on how a city’s design is linked to quality of life, not just in subjective ways but in measurable health outcomes. See the video here.

Davis 2060: Trees or Tucson? A Forestry Master Plan Presentation, October 7, 2019. See the video here.

This forum featured

  • Jeremy Klemic, PLA, ASLA
  • Associate Principal, SWA Group.
  • And panel discussion with Panelists:
  • Dr. Greg McPherson, Retired, US Forest Service
  • Erin Donley Marineau, Executive Director Tree Davis
  • David B. Robinson, Chairman of the Board Tree Davis

John Godden: Building Sustainanbility: Ideas from Our Canadian Neighbors April 25, 2019. This forum featured John Godden, editor of Better Builder Magazine, speaking about sustainable building practices in Canada. Q & A with Greg Mahoney, Chief Building, City of Davis, and introductions by Brett Lee, Davis City Council. See the video here.

Dr. Elizabeth Baca: How a Cities Design Affects Your Health, April 4, 2018. Dr. Baca, MD, MPA, is Senior Health Advisor in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research with local perspectives from Peter Jacobson, Bike Davis and Sheila Allen, Executive Director, Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance. Elizabeth spoke about efforts and resources around making communities healthy for families and the future. Watch the Davis Media Access video recording of this presentation.

Futures Forum Cool Davis

David Garcia, Policy Director at the UC Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation. February 7, 2018. David Garcia, Policy Director with the UC Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation, framed the conversation with some housing history and lead into ideas on housing policy, as well as some thoughts regarding construction costs of affordable housing. David’s talk was followed by a diverse panel of Davis stakeholders to present a Davis perspective on the issue. Watch the Davis Media Access video recording of this presentation.

David Garcia Terner Center UCB

Paula Daniels: Let’s Talk About Food: Tapping the Potential of Davis, December 5, 2018. Paula Daniels, Co-founder and Chair of the Center of Food Purchasing, and a former senior advisor on food policy to former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Daniels described how city policies can address sustainability, using food as an economic development tool. Davis Mayor Brett Lee hosted the event, also featuring a panel discussion by local food leaders and remarks from Gloria Partida. See the video here.

James Corless, Executive Director of SACOG

James spoke about next generation transportation. Unfortunately a video of this presentation is not available.

Davis Futures Forum Cool Davis
James Corless


Jeff Tumlin, Director of Strategy for Nelson/Nygaard

Tumlin Davis Futures Forum
Jeff Tumlin

Jeff spoke about the challenge of parking. Watch the Davis Media Access video recording of this presentation.

Robert Liberty, Portland State University, Harvard Law

Robert Liberty, sustainable planning
Robert Liberty

Robert Liberty is director of Portland State University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions and the Urban Sustainability Accelerator. Robert spoke in March of 2017 elucidating lessons from Portland’s revitalization. VIDEO ARTICLE

Daniel Parolek, AIA, Principal Opticos Design

Daniel Parolek, sustainable planning
Daniel Parolek

Dan Parolek presented in April of 2016 on the use of form based codes as a planning tool. Dan is a founding board member of the Form-Based Codes Institute and the Northern California Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism. VIDEO ARTICLE1 ARTICLE2

Chuck Marohn, AICP, PE, Founder and President of Strong Towns

Chuck Marohn, sustainable planning
Chuck Marohn

Chuck discussed the reduced cost of compact and walkable land use in his talk on Jan 2016 titled, “Growing Cities for Financial and Neighborhood Sustainability.” ARTICLE

Joe Minicozzi, AICP, Principal with Urban3

Joe Minicozzi, sustainable planning
Joe Minicozzi

Joe spoke about revenue optimization achieved through compact land use. Joe spoke in Davis twice on Sept. 29, 2015, on using images from public data to inform choices for a sustainable future. ARTICLE

To request information about our upcoming events or suggest ideas for speakers or panelists, contact: coalition@cooldavis.org.

The Davis Futures Forum is a working group of the Cool Davis Coalition.

Other Articles

Minicozzis Model Applied to Davis, Davis Vanguard