The APA-IL Chicago Metro Section's June 9, 2021 session explored major planning initiatives that are transforming Chicago. The City of Chicago, under the leadership of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, is engaging in two innovative and comprehensive planning efforts that will change the landscape of development in Chicago for years to come. We Will Chicago is a 3-year comprehensive planning initiative that prioritizes equity, resiliency, and engagement to create a new, inclusive vision for the city. INVEST South/West is an unprecedented economic development strategy created to marshal $750 million towards development efforts on the south and west sides of Chicago. With the new Commissioner of the Department Planning and Development, Maurice Cox, at the helm, Chicago is addressing, head on, the social and economic inequities that impair Chicago’s legacy as a global city. Come learn how Chicago, by putting equity, resiliency, and inclusion at the forefront, is creating a roadmap for the revival of disinvested communities.
Thank you to the following individuals for taking the time to make this session a success:
Speaker: Commissioner Maurice Cox, City of Chicago Department of Planning & Development
Moderator: Kimberly Morris, APA-CMS Asst. Director and Planner at the City of Chicago Department of Planning & Development
Introductions by Nina Idemudia, AICP, APA-IL President Elect and Asst. Commissioner at the City of Chicago Department of Planning & Development
At the end of the webinar, Maurice Cox was asked to give advice to APA-IL members as far as staying the course and being change agents. Commissioner Cox gave some great advice that we'd like to share:
"I think one thing you can do is if you really want to be a change agent, you can come work for the City. it's not just planners but as people who are cross trained in landscape architecture and urban design and architecture. We need all of those disciplines in conversation to come up with creative answers. "
"I feel it's really important as a planner to go where you're needed. You really have to go to where your professional skills will be of value."
"We need planners to change fundamentally be rooted in place, and change the place where you are. And if you are in Chicago, then you have a professional responsibility to change, Chicago, and you don't have to just work for the planning department. You can also change your block. Be engaged. You can be on task force, you can serve on committees. You can just engage and let people know that this is your passion. This is what you love to do and be of use to them. "
"Demand excellence in everything we do. All of these communities are worthy of it. And I think some people when they hear us talking about it. This is like the first time. Many residents are hearing the planning department say your community is so valuable. Everything that happens here needs to be excellent. You you demand it. You deserve it. And our goal is to help facilitate that. If you really want to make an impact in in communities in the profession you have to be in pursuit of quality, you have to be in pursuit of excellence. I just want to convey to residents. We live in a wonderful city, and they deserve only the best, and that's what we are trying to do every day when we do this job."
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