Past Events

We love events!  We've literally hosted dozens of them since our founding... everything from neighborhood walking tours to semi-academic discussions to good old fashioned year-end parties.  

Here is a selection of our past events to give you an idea of what membership gets you (a reminder: members get to attend all events for free).

Tiny Houses (March 16, 2017): Around 40 people turned out to see architects Brian Rubin and Siena Shaw, who are designing (and will be living) in Tiny Houses (theirs is called MightyHouse!).  



Meet the Mayor and Vice-Mayor (Feb 28, 2017)



What Makes a City Great: Alex Garvin (February 2,2017)

We have many amazing cities on the Peninsula. But what makes places great? And how can they be made better? Architect, author, professor and planner Alex Garvin set out to answer these questions in his book, "What Makes a Great City?" Among his answers are that it’s up to us — to people who shape cities - residents, municipal staff, entrepreneurs - to make great cities.


Expanding our Housing Toolkit (Sept 7, 2016)


Scotty's Meetup and Council Meeting: Comp Plan 5th Option (May 16, 2017)


April Ice Cream Social (April 1, 2016)

Super fun meet up with make-your-own ice cream sundaes in one of Palo Alto’s pocket parks (Heritage Park).  Spring was welcomed deliciously!


Lilypad Homes (March 3, 2016)

Rachel Ginis the founder of LilyPad Homes helped investigate the opportunities we have to increase housing options by encouraging the development of second units — Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) or “granny” flats -- as infill housing.

Boom & Bubble: Regional & County trends (Feb 25, 2016)

Regional Economist, Stephen Levy joined us for his annual update on regional and county trends, covering the following:

  • Is there a slow-down happening in the housing market?

  • Is the projected slow-down in tech still headed our way? And if so, how that might affect housing affordability in the region?

  • How many people are projected to move to the region? Who are they and how does their arrival fit into the picture? Who is leaving and who is staying?


Second Units: Missing Middle Housing (Nov 5, 2015)

We heard from Daniel Parolek, a nationally recognized thought leader in architecture, design, and urban planning, who specializes in creating livable, sustainable communities. Daniel conceived the term Missing Middle Housing to describe the range of multi-unit or clustered housing types compatible in scale with single-family homes that help meet the growing demand for compact, convenient, walkable lifestyles.

Don Weden: Change, Growth and Planning  (Sept 29. 2015)

Don Weden, the retired Principal Planner from Santa Clara County presented a new vision for the next version of Santa Clara County.



Parking for Thriving, Convenient Places (Jun 23, 2015)

We were joined by Richard Willson to learn about effective strategies that other cities have used to manage parking, and how they might be applied in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View and other nearby cities.

Richard Willson is a respected expert in parking strategies for cities.  His new book,Parking Management for Smart Growth focuses on how to plan and implement successful parking management strategies, with effective practices and case studies from a variety of cities.

Drinks and the Comprehensive Plan (May 26, 2015)

Casual get-together at Scotty’s Bar downtown to discuss the upcoming “Our Palo Alto” Forum, and potential visions for the comprehensive plan


Spring Picnic (May 17, 2015)

Community get-together in Rinconada Park with great food and drinks.  Local favorite, John Henry of the band "John Henry's Farm" joined us and provided participatory musical entertainment


Second Units (May 3, 2015)

Study session: What is the current process for implementing second units in Palo Alto and what can be done to incentivize more second units?


Tactical Urbanism (April 7, 2015)

Co-hosted with Island Press, we hosted Mike Lydon, author of Tactical Urbanism.  Mike Lydon's work through the Streets Plan Collaborative focuses on faster, cheaper, better ways of prototyping small community drive projects that are effective and delightful ways that improve streets and neighborhoods.  

Come Learn about Measure A! (Mar 27, 2015)

Educational session to learn more about the local parcel tax measure to support Palo Alto’s schools

Silicon Valley Transportation Choices & Healthy Communities Summit (Mar 12, 2015)

Yoriko Kishimoto, former Mayor of Palo Alto, recounted stories of what happens when transportation challenges meet politics and described her vision for doubling bike use in the region.



Buena Vista Rally (Mar 9, 2015)

Outpouring of support from the Palo Alto Forward community to stand with the residents of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park


Silicon Valley Transportation Choices & Healthy Communities Summit (Mar 7, 2015)


Palo Alto Forward and other Santa Clara and San Mateo County residents in discussed how we plan, grow, and invest over the coming decades. A diverse group of organizations and agencies led workshops and trainings to discuss critical issues, innovative solutions, and how you can play a role in shaping the future of your community.


Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (S/CAP), and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) (Feb 26, 2015)

Gil Friend (Chief Sustainability Officer, Palo Alto) – and special guests from Finland--discussed the city's sustainability options, and how a sustainable, carbon-free Palo Alto can improve the quality of our lives, encourage a more connected and healthier place to live and be a model for the world.


Doubling Caltrain Capacity (Feb 10, 2015)

How can Caltrain keep up with capacity needs?  What’s being done to plan for grade separations for safety and reliability?  How can upcoming ballot measures in 2016 help Caltrain keep up with the needs, and how can riders and supporters help?


Downtown Housing Walking Tour (Jan 24, 2015)


Tour of 3 residential clusters afforded us the opportunity to learn and experience what makes a development enjoyable to live in and walk by. Bagels and coffee and then a guided tour with discussion about the planning and legal and design background of these buildings and this housing helps shape the experience of our city.


Holiday Social 2014 (Dec 18, 2014)

The first of what has become a holiday tradition!  Packed house, lovely food and drinks, and housing and transportation related wishes for Palo Alto’s future.  


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