Lexington to Host Next City’s Vanguard Conference in 2024


Lexington, Kentucky, will welcome a new cohort of urban leaders and innovators for Next City’s Vanguard conference in September 2024. The conference, which aims to explore the challenges and opportunities facing mid-sized cities, will be organized in partnership with CivicLex and VisitLEX, two local organizations that promote civic engagement and tourism in Lexington.


What is Next City’s Vanguard Conference?

Next City is a nonprofit news organization that covers the issues affecting cities and the solutions that can make them more equitable, sustainable, and resilient. Next City’s Vanguard Conference is an annual event that brings together 40 rising urban professionals from various sectors and backgrounds to learn from each other and the host city. The conference also features workshops, panel discussions, site visits, and networking opportunities.

The Vanguard conference was launched in 2010 and has been held in different cities across the U.S. and Canada, such as Philadelphia, Cleveland, Montreal, Sacramento, and Richmond. The conference aims to showcase the best practices and innovations that are transforming urban areas and to foster collaboration and leadership among the next generation of urban changemakers.

Why Lexington?

Lexington is a mid-sized city in Central Kentucky that serves as the main population center for much of Central and Appalachian Kentucky. With a population of over 320,000, Lexington is known for its bourbon distilling, horse racing, healthcare, and agricultural industries, as well as its vibrant music, literary, and culinary scenes. It is also a city that blurs the lines between rural and urban, as it is surrounded by farmland and natural beauty.

Lexington was chosen as the host city for the 2024 Vanguard conference because of its unique challenges and opportunities as a mid-sized city in a rural region. According to Next City, the conference will focus on breaking down the rural-urban divide and exploring the interdependence of Lexington and its rural neighbors. The conference will also address topics such as housing affordability, racial equity, civic innovation, democracy, and climate resilience.

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2024 Vanguard conference will open on February 26th at noon Eastern. The application fee is $25 for early bird applicants who submit before April 1st at 11:59 p.m. Eastern and $35 for regular applicants who submit before May 6th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. Applicants must be between 25 and 40 years old and have at least two years of experience in their field. Applicants must also demonstrate their passion and commitment to improving cities and their communities.

The selection process will be based on the applicants’ achievements, potential, diversity, and alignment with Next City’s mission and values. The selected applicants will be notified by June 30th and will receive a scholarship that covers conference registration, lodging, and meals. The applicants will be responsible for their travel costs and arrangements.

The 2024 Vanguard conference will take place from September 23rd to 26th in Lexington, Kentucky. It will be an opportunity for the participants to learn from Lexington’s successes and challenges, to share their ideas and experiences, and to connect with other urban leaders and innovators from across the country and beyond.

By Andrea Wilson

Andrea Wilson is a talented junior content and news writer at Scope Sweep. With a passion for writing and a dedication to delivering high-quality content, Andrea has quickly established herself as a valuable contributor to the team. Graduating from the prestigious University of Sydney, she brings a strong academic foundation and a keen eye for detail to her work. Andrea's articles cover a wide range of topics, from breaking news to informative features, ensuring that readers are well-informed and engaged. With her ability to research and present information in a clear and concise manner, Andrea Wilson is committed to providing readers with accurate and captivating content. Stay connected and up-to-date with Andrea's compelling articles on Scope Sweep

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