London's Minister for the Olympics: planning beyond the games for broader benefits improves a bid city's chances, strengthens region - Metropolitan Planning Council

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London's Minister for the Olympics: planning beyond the games for broader benefits improves a bid city's chances, strengthens region

London’s Tessa Jowell keynotes Metropolitan Planning Council 2007 Annual Meeting Luncheon, which also features presentation of MPC’s Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning

(Chicago) … As Chicago competes with six other global cities for the honor of hosting the 2016 Olympics, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) urges that planning for the Games be tied to broader goals to maintain and build upon Chicago ’s world-class status. At MPC’s 2007 Annual Meeting Luncheon, “Going for the Gold: Chicago’s Olympic Destiny,” some 1,000 Chicago-area leaders heard from keynote speaker, the Rt. Hon. Tessa Jowell, MP, the United Kingdom’s Minister for the Olympics and London, how “legacy planning” can improve a bid city’s chances, but more importantly strengthen a metropolitan region for generations to come.

“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, a driving force behind London ’s successful bid for the 2012 Games. “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. I am very happy to be able to discuss our experiences with the people of Chicago as part of that commitment.”

Jowell was introduced by James Clark, Britain’s newly appointed Consul General for Chicago. Her insights about the wider benefits of hosting the Olympics – such as the opportunity to bolster a city’s housing, transportation and neighborhood assets – were an inspiring message for the crowd of decision-makers gathered for MPC’s major annual fundraising event on Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

“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.”

“Chicago is a city forged by bold plans, from Daniel Burnham’s 1909 vision that has shaped our Lakefront and boulevards to the city’s dramatic front yard, Millennium Park,” said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO, Chicago 2016. “Bidding for the 2016 Olympics is an opportunity to bring out the best in our city and to build a legacy for Chicago’s next 100 years.”

At the event, MPC also presented its 2007 Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning, including a cash prize of $5,000 underwritten by National City Bank, to five northwest Indiana communities for The Marquette Plan: The Lakeshore Reinvestment Strategy. Together with U.S. Rep. Peter J. Visclosky (D-Ind.), the leaders of East Chicago, Gary, Hammond, Portage and Whiting, Ind., pooled $200,000 in local and federal resources to conduct the initial study to address a difficult challenge: attracting new market investments in communities long-defined by industry. The Marquette Plan outlines a strategy to bring jobs and retail opportunities to the beachfront communities of Northwest Indiana, while protecting and enhancing our region’s greatest natural resource, Lake Michigan .

“Our position on Lake Michigan grows more valuable each day, and the Marquette Plan will leverage this tremendous resource to create new jobs, new recreation, and new economic development in Northwest Indiana,” said U.S. Rep. Visclosky. “I applaud the lakefront cities of East Chicago, Gary, Hammond, Portage and Whiting for their support of the Marquette Plan.”

For 19 years, MPC’s Burnham Award has recognized forward-thinking plans and projects in the Chicago region. On behalf of the five communities and U.S. Rep. Visclosky, A.J. Monroe, director of community development for the City of Portage, accepted the award from Joseph A. Gregoire, president and CEO, Illinois Banking, National City Bank; and member, MPC Board of Governors.

“The Marquette Plan represents the power of individual communities working together to make the biggest impact,” said Gregoire. “Individual efforts on the part of each of these communities are commendable, but together and with the support of U.S. Rep. Visclosky and the private sector, these five communities have been able to leverage impressive resources to shape a brighter future for the entire region.”

Such work exemplifies the power of collaboration, a hallmark of MPC since its founding at the Century of Progress World’s Fair in 1934. By working together with a range of partners – from city, suburban and county governments to community organizations and developers – MPC is helping ensure everyone who lives and works in metropolitan Chicago can prosper as part of a world-class region, according to MPC Board Chair Lee M. Mitchell, partner, Thoma Cressy Bravo, Inc. MPC develops, promotes and implements policies and strategies to achieve this goal, such as improving access to transportation options, increasing state funding for education, and assisting communities in developing a range of homes that accommodate people at all stages in life.

Mitchell also shared some of MPC’s 2007 highlights, including the following:

  • With the International Council of Shopping Centers, Campaign for Sensible Growth, and Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, MPC published Retail 1-2-3 , the third in a series of planning workbooks for local officials and community leaders.
  • As part of a broader effort to craft a redevelopment strategy for the City of Joliet ’s East Side , MPC recommended ways to strengthen the community’s housing and retail markets. This is just one of more than 20 communities MPC has provided hands-on development assistance to in the past few years.
  • MPC’s Community Building Initiative has launched Reconnecting Neighborhoods to bring access and opportunity to three mixed-income communities in Chicago .
  • Five regions across the U.S. , including Mississippi ’s Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast , have engaged MPC in helping them start employer-assisted housing (EAH) programs. This summer, the Chicago area celebrated its 1,000 th EAH homebuyer.
  • The MPC-led Good Housing Good Schools Act, signed into law in August, gives a financial boost to school districts that welcome multi-family housing, a practical solution to the jobs-housing mismatch.

Mitchell also welcomed newly elected members of its Board of Governors: Vincent Cordero, vice president and general manager, Univision Television Group; Michael Moore, managing director, head of Chicago capital markets, Lehman Brothers; Stephen M. Porras, vice president, acquisitions, affordable housing, Related Midwest; and James P. Stirling, director, UBS; and newly appointed Resource Board members Christopher B. Burke, president, Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd.; and Karla O. Teasley, president, Illinois American Water.

The MPC 2007 Annual Meeting Luncheon was made possible by Honorary Co-Chairs Mayor Richard M. Daley, City of Chicago; James Clark, Her Majesty’s Consul General, Chicago; and Patrick G. Ryan, executive chairman, Aon Corporation; as well as Presenting Event Chair Joseph A. Gregoire, president and CEO, Illinois Banking, National City Bank. National City was Presenting Sponsor for this year’s luncheon, with a $50,000 contribution.

MPC also thanks 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.

Founded in 1934, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group of business and civic leaders committed to serving the public interest through development, promotion and implementation of sound planning and development policies so all residents have access to opportunity and a good quality of life, the building blocks of a globally competitive greater Chicago region.

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