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KNOXVILLE — Daniel Williams, an architect and nationally recognized expert in sustainable architecture and planning, kicks off the “Plain Talk on Quality Growth” conference on March 29.

Williams’ lecture, titled “Visioning our Future: Can We Reconcile Prosperity and Sustainability?” begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Carolyn P. Brown Memorial University Center Auditorium on the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus.

A 40-minute panel discussion, moderated by Bill Lyons, Knoxville’s senior director of policy development, will follow. Panelists will include Seong-Hoon Cho, assistant professor of agricultural economics; David Hill, Knoxville’s senior director of south waterfront development; Tracy Moir McClean, associate professor of the School of Architecture; Reagan Richmond, vice president of Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville (SPEAK); and David Watson, executive director of the East Tennessee Community Design Center.

The lecture and panel discussion — sponsored by the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and the College of Architecture and Design — are a prelude to a conference that continues on Friday at the Knoxville Convention Center. Williams will deliver the keynote address at the conference.

Williams is a fellow in the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He was the 2006 chair of the AIA’s Sustainability Task Group and sits on the National Advisory Council of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NACEPT. His projects range in scale from “off the grid” residences to regional master plans of thousands of square miles — integrating issues in ecology, economic development, transportation, agricultural preservation, education, water resource protection and smart growth.

Williams participated in the development of the 2010 Council of Mayors resolution that aims to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent and has worked with dozens of communities around the country creating master plans. His work also has focused on designs to assist the rebuilding of towns and cities after natural disasters.

Williams chaired the National Committee on the Environment (COTE) for the American Institute of Architects. He also chaired the Task Force on the Environment and Energy of the Congress for the New Urbanism from 1996-2000. He won the first Passive Design Award in Architecture from NASA in 1980. His work on sustainable design on the regional scale won the 1999 and the 2000 American Institute of Architects’ National Honor Awards for Urban and Regional Design and the Catherine Brown Award for Urban Design in the American Landscape in 1999.

Named the University of Florida’s Eminent Scholar in 2000, Williams’ book “Sustainable Design: Ecology/Architecture/Planning” will be published this spring by John Wiley & Sons.

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Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,
Nissa Dahlin-Brown, (865) 974-0931,