June Media Tips - Metropolitan Planning Council

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June Media Tips

Conflict, Intrigue, Emotion: Experience the Power of Planning at Two June Events

Trust us: planning is a much more exciting field than most people realize. Don’t take our word for it: come hear one of your peers make the case. Veteran journalist Anthony Flint, who covered planning, development and housing for the Boston Globe for 16 years, will be in Chicago to discuss his new book, This Land: The Battle over Sprawl and the Future of America, which “tells the untold story of development in America – how the landscape is shaped by a furious clash of political, economic and cultural forces.” Intrigued? Join us for the free event at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20 , at the Burnham Conference Center, American Planning Association (APA), 122 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 1600, Chicago. The event is part of the “Tuesdays at APA” lecture series, and is co-sponsored by the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and Campaign for Sensible Growth .

While Flint’s themes are broad, planning also shapes the small but important details that color our daily lives. At an MPC roundtable luncheon on Thursday, June 22, we’ll explore how a planning innovation called Context Sensitive Solutions can help create streets that do much more than move cars. From famous streets to the street where you rode your bike as a kid, streets are places where commerce and recreation take place, and friends and neighbors meet. Learn more at the roundtable luncheon, which will begin at noon at the Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson, Chicago. Media may attend free of charge, but a reservation is appreciated. The Union League Club requires business or business casual attire. For details on either event, visit MPC’s Web calendar .

Campaign for Sensible Growth Contact: Michael Davidson, Manager, 312.863.6009, mdavidson@growingsensibly.org
MPC Contact: Peter Skosey, Vice President of External Relations, 312.863.6004, pskosey@metroplanning.org

As Chicago Prepares Olympic Bid, MPC Anticipates Vigorous Public Participation

With the help of an Olympics exploratory committee, Chicago officials are hurriedly compiling details necessary to support a bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, which they’ll reportedly submit to the U.S. Olympics Committee by Wednesday, June 21. Though questions remain as to Chicago ’s ability to host the Games, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is encouraged by the city’s thoughtful planning process, and looks forward to public discussion of the proposal.

“City officials have been clear on a critical point: the costs of hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic Games must translate into long-term transportation, housing, and green space improvements for the entire region,” said Peter Skosey, MPC vice president of external relations. “By keeping the planning process open to the public, the city will help ensure that the Games leave a meaningful legacy for Chicago and the metropolitan region.”

MPC first weighed in on Chicago’s Olympic bid in May with recommendations to guide the pursuit. Read MPC’s Olympic “Rules of the Games” on our Web site.

MPC Contact: Peter Skosey, Vice President of External Relations, 312.863.6004, pskosey@metroplanning.org
Contact: Calvert W. Audrain, Member, MPC Urban Development Committee, 773.947.8227, acaudrain@sbcglobal.net

MPC Seeks Nominations for 2006 Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning

The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is calling for nominations for the 2006 Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning, which for 17 years has recognized superior plans that have resulted in sensible growth and development in the Chicago region.

The Council presents the Burnham Award annually to a plan that promotes and implements sensible growth and development policies, incorporates active public participation, provides long-term community benefits, and breaks new ground, inspiring others to adopt best practices. In 2005, MPC presented the Burnham Award to the City of Waukegan for its Lakefront-Downtown Urban Design Plan; and in 2004, the Burnham Award went to the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development for the Calumet Area Land Use Plan. Award winners receive a $5,000 cash prize – underwritten this year by National City – and are recognized at MPC’s Annual Meeting Luncheon. Nominations for the 2006 Burnham Award are due to the Council by 4 p.m. on Friday, June 23, 2006. Burnham Award nominations forms are available on MPC’s Web site.

MPC Contact: Peter Skosey, Vice President of External Relations, 312.863.6004, pskosey@metroplanning.org

Communities That Plan Sensibly Can Help Consumers Cut Their Fuel Budgets

Ariel Diamond is a self-described “twenty-something in a suit” – who’s also passionate about sustainability. A recent college graduate, Diamond is an environmental policy consultant, has a tattoo symbolizing sustainability on her arm, and dutifully tends to a worm bin in her kitchen, which will provide compost for the tomato and basil plants sprouting in containers on the back porch of her Lakeview apartment. And, yes, she recycles. But Diamond says the most sustainable decision she’s made is to steer clear of car ownership in favor of walking, riding her bike, and taking public transit.

Diamond recognizes she’s lucky to live in a place where not owning a car is possible. In fact, she decided to move here in part because of the region’s extensive public transit system, which helped rank Chicago among the Top 10 U.S. cities best prepared for an oil crisis, according to the national organization SustainLane . Still, in the Chicago area, our built environment presents many hurdles to residents trying to reduce t heir gas consumption.

“The way we too-often consume land – thoughtlessly, without carefully planning to connect homes, jobs and transportation – has very nearly mandated our auto dependency,” said MarySue Barrett, president of the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC). “While more and more individuals earnestly pursue sustainable lifestyles, local leaders can put more options on the table by creating pedestrian and bike-friendly streets; ensuring a healthy range of housing options so families can live near work or transit; and supporting an efficient, accessible, well-funded transit system.”

Learn more about planning tools communities can use to help residents curb their auto-dependency by visiting MPC’s Web site , which currently features parts one and two in an ongoing series linking land use and fuel consumption. Every other Thursday throughout the summer, a new article in the series will appear on MPC’s homepage.

MPC Contact: Mandy Burrell , MPC communications associate, 312 .863.6018, mburrell@metroplanning.org
(To contact Ariel Diamond, please call or e-mail Mandy Burrell .)


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