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Downtown Napa

Downtown Napa is seen in September 2016 from a scaffold surrounding the steeple of First Presbyterian Church. The city is sponsoring Urban Tech Talk Napa: 2040, a series of presentations Friday at the Uptown Theatre to explore the effect of technology and the environment on city planning. Napa is organizing the event ahead of the drafting of the city's next general plan.

As Napa prepares to write a new game plan for its future growth and land use, a city-sponsored forum Friday will look into how changes in technology and the environment may reshape daily life – and possibly the city’s general plan with it.

The city is organizing Urban Tech Talk Napa: 2040, which it bills as the first of several “conversation starters” for residents, city staff and elected officials to guide the writing of Napa’s new general plan. The event, which will feature four one-hour lectures on technology, sustainability and other topics, will take place from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Uptown Theatre, 1350 Third St.

Registration for the free event is available on Eventbrite at

Friday’s Tech Talk will kick off a series of public discussions about large-scale changes that may affect how Napa and other cities plan their transportation, parking, land use and environmental standards, according to Peter Pirnejad, Napa’s assistant city manager for development services.

“Part of the reasoning is that the general plan is a 20-year document,” he said Monday. “We’re planning the future of Napa into 2040, and in that time there’s going to be lot of urban technology coming online that changes the way the city engages with its community and its environment. (We want) to prepare for that and (understand) some of these changes like autonomous vehicles and connected streets, climate change, sea level rise. It will change entire paradigms, the baseline of how we plan for the future.”

The segments will include:

- “Smart Cities and Incubators” at 3 p.m. by Jonathan Reichental, chief information officer for Palo Alto

- “Connected Streets and Parking” at 4 p.m. by Jaime Rodriguez, a traffic engineer and principal at and Traffic Patterns

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- “Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility of the Future” at 5 p.m. by Keith Foxe, business development director for Cubic Transportation Systems

- “Resilient and Sustainable Cities” at 6 p.m. by Gil Friend, chief sustainability officer for Palo Alto

A 15-minute question-and-answer session will conclude each presentation.

More than 230 people had registered to attend the free forum as of Monday, according to Pirnejad, who said audience members will include residents and others who work in the city, as well as city and county staff and committee members.

Those registering to attend the Tech Talk can receive a summary of the Friday presentations, including pictures and slides from the event, as well as a condensed video of the forum.


City of Napa/Town of Yountville Reporter

Howard Yune covers the city of Napa and the town of Yountville. He has been a reporter and photographer for the Register since 2011, and previously wrote for the Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Anaheim Bulletin and Coos Bay (Oregon) World.