City Center Series

This speaker series features nationally renowned experts discussing urbanism, innovation and design, with special emphasis on resiliency, equity and creative placemaking.

Join decisionmakers, industry leaders and community advocates  in exploring the impact of thoughtful planning and design on our present — and future — in Colorado Springs.


Presented by series sponsor Colorado Springs Health Foundation

For four evenings in January, February, March and April 2021, City Center Speakers brought their areas of expertise to bear on current conditions in Colorado Springs, providing inspiration to design a vibrant city for all. 

  • Watch or listen to events by clicking the blue buttons below.
  • AICP CM Credits for Planners with APA Colorado available (see below)

Talent development in the City Center

with Irma Olguin and Jake Soberal, co-CEOS of Bitwise

Panelists: Dr. Tatiana Bailey, UCCS Economic Forum
Dr. Lance Bolton, Pikes Peak Community College
Traci Marques, Pikes Peak Workforce Center
Hon. Regina Walter, Educating Children of Color
What is an employer’s role in raising young people out of poverty?

Bitwise Industries and its associated entities have built an equitable, sustainable talent pipeline for Fresno’s technology sector through training, education and a long-term commitment to local underresourced communities. This in turn has sparked a renaissance for Downtown Fresno.

Listen in as Colorado Springs tech industry leaders talk with Irma and Jake about what it takes to equitably develop local talent in a way that builds success for all.

View recorded event

LISTEN TO STUDIO 809 podcast of event

Equity in Transportation

with Tamika L. Butler

Presented by Trails & Open Space Coalition 
Q&A facilitated by Jolie NeSmith, PikeRide
Active multimodal transit is key to economic and public health for growing cities. How do we ensure its benefits are accessible to ALL citizens?

Tamika L. Butler is a national expert on issues related to the built environment, equity, anti-racism, diversity and inclusion, and change management. Recently, Tamika was Toole Design’s Director of Planning for California and the Director of Equity and Inclusion. Formerly serving as Executive Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, they addressed social and racial equity in wellness by building parks and gardens in park-poor communities.


Listen to Studio 809 podcast of event

How to retain your community’s soul during rapid development

with Dan Carmody, president of Detroit Eastern Market Partnership

Presented by Food to Power
Q&A facilitated by Rev. Dr. Stephany Rose Spaulding
Community revitalization can mean many things. On the eve of Colorado Springs’ sesquicentennial, what does our city need to thrive in the next 150 years?

Dan is a dynamic speaker who led the renaissance of Detroit’s Eastern Market as a hub for healthy food and local jobs, eventually expanding a wholesale food district to include mixed-use buildings, additional light manufacturing, and better public spaces. “Don’t change a thing; just make it better” – the motto of many longtime Eastern Market stakeholders – speaks to how long-venerated institutions must evolve with the times to survive.

View recorded event

Listen to Studio 809 Podcast of event


Public space design for public health equity

with Dr. Keshia Pollack Porter, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Presented by Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO)
Q&A facilitated by Tilah Larson, Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services
The upheavals of 2020 highlighted long-standing inequities in how public space serves public health. What needs to change to make our city center safe and healthy for all?

Dr. Keshia Pollack Porter’s research focuses on tactics to center equity and public health in how we address public spaces, promoting safe and healthy environments where people live, work, play and travel. 

View Recorded Event

Listen to Studio 809 podcast of event


Meet the Sponsors

The 2021 City Center Speaker Series is presented by Colorado Springs Health Foundation, providing grants that target immediate health care needs and encourage healthy living in El Paso County and Teller County, CO.

Sponsors of individual speaker events include CONOTrails and Open Space Coalition and Food to Power.

Colorado Springs Business Journal has been the media sponsor of the City Center Speaker Series since its inception.

To learn about other sponsorship opportunities with the City Center Speaker Series and Downtown Ventures, please click here.

AICP CM Credits for Planners with APA Colorado

Thanks to the Colorado Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA Colorado), certified planners earn 1.25 CM credits for attending City Center Series events!

Please pre-register using the links below and use the following event numbers to log your credits.

  • Tamika L. Butler, 02/17: #9211873
  • Dan Carmody, 03/17: #9211878
  • Dr. Keshia Pollack Porter, 04/14: #9211879


Subscribe to the City Center Series playlist on the Downtown Colorado Springs YouTube channel to view past events.