Early registration extended for livable communities conference

Contact: Deanne Puca
Photo of Jennifer Mindell.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Early registration has been extended through Friday, June 1, for the fifth annual Summer Conference on Livable Communities at Western Michigan University. 

The focus of the conference is to explore improving the quality of life by advancing more balanced, affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation systems. The annual event draws transportation researchers, educators, students, advocates, community members, policymakers and transportation practitioners.

Held at Floyd Hall on the Parkview Campus, the event runs Thursday and Friday, June 21-22, and is hosted by the Transportation Research Center for Livable Communities, a Tier 1 University Transportation Center funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. on June 21. Sessions include such topics as innovations on active transportation, safe mobility for the elderly and people with disabilities, public transportation and shared use mobility, pedestrian and bicycle transportation, and technology for people with limited transportation options. In addition, graduate students will share their research on numerous transportation topics and participate in poster presentations.

Fees are $30 for students and $100 for all other attendees before June 1 and $45 for students and $150 for attendees after June 1. Seating is limited. To register or for more information, visit wmich.edu/transportationcenter/programs/conferencehome.

Keynote speakers Dr. Jennifer Mindell, of University College in London, and Eric J. Schneidewind, president of the AARP, will both speak on "Assessing and Valuing the Barrier Effect of Busy Roads."


Mindell is a professor of public health in the Health and Social Surveys Research Group of the Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL. She has experience in epidemiology, general practice and health promotion. Mindell leads the University College's Health Survey for England team and is health lead of UCL's Transport Institute. She supervises doctoral students in both the population health sciences and the civil, environmental and geomatic engineering faculties. Previously, she was deputy director of the London Health Observatory and led health impact assessments of London's Mayor's Transport and other strategies. Mindell was also the principal investigator for a cross-disciplinary project developing tools to measure community severance by road traffic.

She was lead editor of the 2011 report, "Health on the Move2" published by the Transport and Health Study Group and former co-chair of the study group. She is editor-in-chief of Journal of Transport and Health, and she also chairs the UK Faculty of Public Health’s Health Improvement Committee.

Photo of Eric J. Schneidewind.



Schneidewind was elected by the AARP Board of Directors to serve as AARP's president from June 2016 to June 2018. The president's role is filled by an AARP volunteer who is also a member of the all-volunteer AARP Board of Directors. Schneidewind's primary duty as president is to act as the principal national volunteer spokesperson, helping to articulate the positions and views of AARP to its members, volunteers and the public.

In addition to his duties representing AARP, he is a retired partner of Varnum LLP law firm, currently serving as counsel specializing in energy law. As a public servant, he was chair of the Michigan Public Service Commission, deputy director of policy and consumer protection for the Michigan Insurance Bureau and attorney for the Michigan State Housing Authority. His volunteer roles have included service as state president of AARP Michigan, secretary for the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association and more than 20 years of volunteering at homeless shelters. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor. He lives in Lansing, Michigan.

Transportation Center for Livable Communities

The Transportation Center for Livable Communities is a consortium led by WMU and includes Utah State University, Tennessee State University, University of Texas at Arlington and Wayne State University.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.