SAVE THE DATE: October 24-25, 2019

The 12th annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference will be held Oct. 24-25, 2019 at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa, and is expected to draw approximately 500 attendees.

Hosted by the City of Dubuque, Iowa and Sustainable City Network, the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is the largest and longest standing sustainability conference in the Midwest and will be held again this year at the Grand River Center located in the Port of Dubuque at 500 Bell Street (View Map). The 12th annual conference will be two days of education, inspiration and collaboration on topics of interest to anyone who cares about creating great towns and cities that stand the test of time.

Inspirational Keynote Speakers

The conference includes two keynote luncheons and a breakfast plenary session.

Outstanding Programming

The conference features workshop speakers with a wide range of expertise, including representatives from federal, state and local governments, along with business and academic leaders from across the country.

The conference features workshop speakers with a wide range of expertise. Speakers from municipal governments large and small also presented case studies on the sustainability initiatives in their respective communities, and researchers from numerous universities and nonprofits also presented their findings.

Workshop topics typically include tree canopy projects and programs, watershed and stormwater management, brownfield redevelopment, solar energy, small-town sustainability, biogas conversion, equity, placemaking, livability, climate action planning, education/community partnerships, mobility planning and design, sustainability tools and frameworks, alternative fuel vehicles, green building and sustainable development, local foods, LED streetlight conversions, affordable housing initiatives, green infrastructure, sustainability metrics, training and community engagement, among others.

Complete workshop descriptions and downloadable presentation slides from our 2018 conference, which was held Oct. 2-3, can be found on our programming page.


Thank You 2018 Sponsors!

Presented by the City of Dubuque and Sustainable City Network, the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is sponsored by Crescent Electric Supply Co. and other corporate sponsors.

Here's a list of our 2018 sponsors.

Alliant Energy   |   American Water Works Association   |   APWA - Iowa Chapter   |   Bartlett & West
BizTimes   |   Black Hills Energy Corporation   |   Blackstone Environmental   |   Briggs & Stratten
Carbon Day Automotive   |   Conlon Construction Co.   |   Crescent Electric Supply Co.
Dubuque Bank & Trust   |   Dupaco   |   Eagle Point Solar   |   Edgewood College
Fehr Graham   |   Good Neighbor Iowa   |   GRAEF   |   Gronen Properties|Restoration
Gross-Wen Technologies   |   Grumman/Butkus Associates   |   GZA   |   HDR Engineering
IIW, P.C.   |   Impact7G   |   IA DNR-State Revolving Fund   |   Iowa Economic Development Authority
Iowa Flood Center   |   ITC Transco   |   Jacob & Hefner Associates   |   LEIF LLC
Leviton   |   Loras College Graduate Programs   |   Midwest Renewable Energy Association
MSA Professional Services   |   Northeast Iowa Community College   |
Rayovac   |   Shive-Hattery   |   sonnen   |   Sustainable City Network   |   Unison Solutions, Inc.
University of Dubuque   |   University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point   |   Vedia

2018 Registration Fees

Registration fees for the 2019 conference have not been determined, but fees for the 2018 conference were as follows:

  • One-Day Early Bird Rate: $110 (through Aug. 26)
  • Two-Day Early Bird Rate: $145 (through Aug. 26)
  • One-Day Regular Rate: $145 (Aug. 27-Sept. 23)
  • Two-Day Regular Rate: $182 (Aug. 27-Sept. 23)
  • One-Day Late Rate: $210 (Sept. 24-Oct. 3)
  • Two-Day Late Rate: $245 (Sept. 24-Oct. 2)
  • One-Day Student Rate: $15
  • Two-Day Student Rate: $30
  • Mobile Tour: $12

Rave Reviews

Here's what some of our past attendees have said about the conference:

"This was my third year and each year the conference impresses me with its relevance, variety and depth of professional perspective and applicability."

"I was blown away by the quality of the keynote speakers!"

"This conference is one of the most useful professional conferences I attend because of its mix of presenters from multiple sectors: non-profit, academic, municipal, business. We often talk about partnerships across these sectors, and this conference helps make those partnerships happen."

"I love the fact that equity is woven in throughout the conference. It's such a huge issue in America right now and everyone needs to be made aware of the problems that exist and how we can create solutions together!"

"I was impressed by the quality of the programming, the speakers, the venue, the food, the hotel accommodations and the overall organization of the conference. Top Notch!"

"The variety of session options is incredible. You can learn about anything from watersheds to food deserts to solar power to creative placemaking!"

"I appreciate that Dubuque walks the talk and provides a conference site that is gorgeous and committed to recycling/reusing items such as badges and providing meals that are locally sourced."

"Each year I come back with at least one idea I can pursue with our City Council and City Staff!"

"The conference generated multiple ideas in my mind and stirred an excitement in my soul for how I could help my community and my business. The speakers were inspiring and thought provoking and made me question myself and my ideas. Well done Dubuque!"

"The GSC Conference is one of the most well-run and friendly conferences I have attended. As a presenter, the coordination was amazing. As an attendee the space was comfortable, well marked and easy to navigate. The sessions were professional and I appreciate the effort made to allow us to obtain CEU's."

"One of the best conferences I've attended on sustainability. Valued packed at an affordable price. I will be returning."