Wednesday, August 18, 2021 - 11:02 am

The 2021 Main Street ND Summit scheduled for Oct. 12 and pre-summit event on Oct. 11 will provide an in-depth and interactive learning experience centered around infrastructure, while also providing a one-of-a-kind networking opportunity for those attending. 

This year’s theme, “Smart, Efficient Infrastructure,” will provide insight into both the physical elements of infrastructure and the critical need to grow a next-generation community with economic development, workforce and leadership development. 

“Smart, efficient infrastructure is a key element in attracting a 21st century workforce that our communities need to thrive,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. "This year’s speakers will provide first-hand knowledge and insight on ways we can continue to build vibrant communities.”

The event being held in West Fargo will offer both virtual and in-person attendance options. While the virtual option will provide the same learning experience, those interested in attending are highly encouraged to take advantage of the summit’s annual networking opportunity.

“The summit brings together a variety of residents who share the common goal of creating healthy, vibrant communities,” Commerce Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Commissioner Shawn Kessel said. “No matter the role in your community, from students to leaders, this event serves as a platform to share and learn innovative solutions for our communities.”

Attendees also have the opportunity to engage with other attendees, speakers, and community leaders at the pre-summit event from 4-6:30 p.m. on Oct. 11. The pre-summit will begin with opening remarks and check in at The Lights located at 3150 Sheyenne St. West Fargo, followed by a bus tour of West Fargo infrastructure. For those wishing to attend, please note that capacity is limited for bus tour attendees. Guests are then invited for appetizers at Bar Down to conclude the evening.

Keynote speakers include:

Charles Marohn, known as one of the 10 Most Influential Urbanists of All Time, is the founder and president of Strong Towns. As a professional engineer with decades of experience, Marohn has presented Strong Towns’ concepts in hundreds of cities and towns across North America.

Tristan Cleveland a community designer, researcher and urban columnist is the leader of the Healthy Communities research and planning with The Happy City Experiment. Cleveland has led projects with national and municipal governments in Canada and United Arab Emirates to help operationalize health research into design and policy.

Joe Minicozzi of Urban3, is a planner who imagines new way to think about and visualize land use for urban design and economics. Urban3's work establishes new conversations across multiple professional sectors, policy makers, and the public to creatively address the challenges of urbanization. Urban3’s extensive studies range geographically over 30 states, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

In addition to the keynote speakers, the summit will also provide six breakout sessions with topics ranging from transportation, real estate, community development, sustainable community growth, and more. A full list of breakout sessions can be found at

The first 500 registrants both virtual and in-person will receive a free copy of “Confessions of a Recovering Engineer: A Strong Towns Approach to Transportation” written by Charles Marohn. Registration for the 2021 Main Street ND Summit can be found at Visit mainstreetsummitnd for more information and updates about this year’s summit.