Big picture planning key to Olympic bid - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Big picture planning key to Olympic bid

At the MPC 2007 Annual Meeting Luncheon, keynote speaker the Rt. Hon. Tessa Jowell, minister for the Olympics and London, inspired Chicagoans to think big and remain positive while planning for the 2016 Games

To craft a winning bid for the 2016 Olympics, Chicago leaders must ensure Olympics planning is inclusive, transparent, and, most importantly, improves this region for generations to come, according to Tessa Jowell, the United Kingdom’s Minister for the Olympics and London, who delivered the keynote address at the MPC 2007 Annual Meeting Luncheon, “Going for the Gold: Chicago’s Olympic Destiny.”

“Be very clear about what you want to do afterwards,” Jowell advised the crowd of Chicago-area civic, business, community and governmental leaders who attended the luncheon on Nov. 29. “Keep thinking about what will happen beyond 17 days of sports.”

The International Olympic Committee is looking for such “big picture” planning, Jowell added, as well as a city it can trust.

Indeed, as Chicago competes with six other global cities – including Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo – for the honor of hosting the 2016 Olympics, MPC continues to urge that planning for the Games be tied to broader goals to maintain and build upon Chicago’s world-class status.

“Tessa Jowell’s remarks serve as an excellent reminder that as we compete for the 2016 Olympic Games, we can build upon the successes of experienced host cities,” said MarySue Barrett, president of MPC. “Our plans not only should capture the imagination of the International Olympic Committee and world, but also make our region more competitive in the global economy.”

Jowell’s insights about the wider benefits of hosting the Olympics were an inspiring message for the crowd of decision-makers gathered for MPC’s major annual fundraising event.

“For London, hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games is about much more than even a great summer of sport. It offers a unique opportunity to change our capital city for the better, leaving a legacy of transformation and hope for decades to come,” said Jowell.

In London , the city is redeveloping the East End neighborhood, a very low-income community where life expectancy is a full four years below the national rate. The city engaged community members from the outset, which is critical in all stages of Olympics planning, said Jowell.

Jowell also urged Chicago bid officials to be “transparent and explicit as possible” about the various costs of hosting the Games. Although reports have claimed that London is over budget, a closer look reveals those numbers include “legacy” projects, such as the East End redevelopment. Such improvements will benefit the city long after the Games, said Jowell, and part of building support for the Games is calling attention to how the Games can accelerate needed investments and bring to light new opportunities for a host city.

“Our door is open and our knowledge and experience available to all the cities bidding to receive the Olympic and Paralympic baton from us in 2012 – and beyond,” Jowell added.

The MPC 2007 Annual Meeting Luncheon was made possible by Presenting Event Chair Joseph A. Gregoire, president and CEO, Illinois Banking, National City Bank, which contributed $50,000 to MPC for the luncheon; and Event Co-Chairs Gail K. Boudreaux, executive vice president of external operations, BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois; Colin Dyer, president and CEO, Jones Lang LaSalle, and Peter Roberts, chief executive officer of the Americas, Jones Lang LaSalle; Miles D. White, chairman and CEO, Abbott; and Thomas Wilson, president and CEO, the Allstate Corporation. Their companies each contributed $25,000 to sponsor the event. The Honorary Co-Chairs for the 2007 luncheon were Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley; James Clark, Her Majesty’s Consul General, Chicago ; and Patrick G. Ryan, executive chairman, Aon Corporation.

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