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Winter Cities Chicago Symposium - February 25, 2020

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

What if winter was your community’s favorite season? No seriously, please keep reading! The next two weeks are the coldest time of year in the Chicago region. Let’s pause to answer, how could we transform a better, more livable cold weather Chicagoland? Join the APA-Il Chicago Metro Section (APA-CMS) Tuesday, February 25th to attend a special symposium dedicated to the urban design and community development scene known as “winter cities.”

Did you know that Chicago is a “Winter City”? Well, it is. Even Canada says so. In fact, in a 1986 publication titled Livable Winter Cities, the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada defined winter cities as “places where the average January temperature is 32° F (0° C) or colder,” and here in Chicago the average high temperatures in January and February rarely break freezing.

In the locales north of our prairie state border, a large group of architects, city planners, landscape architects, engineers, public health officials, parks and recreation professionals, economic developers and business district champions, elected and appointed leaders, and community stakeholders all huddle around The Winter Cities Institute, which was specifically formed to foster this type of urban planning. A global conference, named Winter Cities Shake-Up, was hosted in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 2019, and focused on how professionals can better design for, function within, and promote healthy, active, and livable communities during wintertime, for everyone. We want to share their knowledge and stories with Chicago.

The Event The APA Illinois (APA-IL) Chicago Metro Section (CMS) and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) have partnered to host a 1-day Symposium dubbed “Winter Cities Chicago” to bring four keynote speakers that are setting best practices and innovating in these principles from Toronto, Ontario; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; and the Upper Peninsula in Michigan.


  • David Simor, Senior Project Manager for Wintermission |8 80 Cities – Toronto, Ontario

  • Patrick Coleman, President | Winter Cities Institute – Upper Peninsula, Michigan

  • Scott H. Allen, AICP (Community Development ) and Sara Larsen (Economic Development) | Eau Claire, Wisconsin – The City of Eau Claire

WHAT: The Inaugural “Winter Cities Chicago” Symposium

WHEN: 9 a.m., Tuesday, February, 25, 2020

WHERE: CMAP’s offices in the Willis Tower, 233 South Wacker Drive, Suite #800, Chicago, IL 60606

WHY: To learn how to start seeing your community and neighborhood through a four-seasons perspective that acknowledges, respects, and ultimately appreciates winter. Attendees will learn techniques and best practices to return to their communities and practice “winter cities planning” through a variety of methods and disciplines.

CM CREDITS: 5.5 Pending

Cannot attend in person but interested in being a part of the emerging Winter Cities Chicago community? Email


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