Great Lakes leaders will shape regional infrastructure investment agenda at Nov. 17 conference in Chicago - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Great Lakes leaders will shape regional infrastructure investment agenda at Nov. 17 conference in Chicago

(Chicago) … Soaring energy costs, flooding, insufficient mass transit, and crumbling bridges – all have made recent headlines and all stem from poor planning and the continued strain on our nation’s infrastructure. President-elect Barack Obama’s plan to support Great Lakes restoration – along with the potential for a second economic stimulus package, including money to support infrastructure investments – make this an ideal time to set a new agenda for infrastructure investment in the Great Lakes region.

On Monday, Nov. 17, 2008, leaders from the Great Lakes business, civic, government, and academic communities will meet in Chicago to identify and prioritize strategic investments in transportation, water and energy to be included in a national infrastructure plan, authorization of a new surface transportation bill, pending climate change legislation, and implementation of the Great Lakes Compact. Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and New York's Regional Plan Association are co-hosting the conference, “Rebuilding and Renewing America: Infrastructure Choices in the Great Lakes Megaregion,” an America 2050 forum. The conference will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago.

This forum is part of America 2050 , a national initiative to develop an infrastructure strategy for America ’s future growth, competitiveness and sustainability. Funding has been provided by the Rockefeller Foundation, Surdna Foundation, and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Local sponsors include the Builders Association and NIPSCO.

WHAT: “Rebuilding and Renewing America: Infrastructure Choices in the Great Lakes Megaregion,” an America 2050 forum to set a new agenda for infrastructure investment in the Great Lakes megaregion

WHO: Invited guests include leaders from the Great Lakes business, civic, government and academic communities. Invited speakers and panelists include the following:

Hon. Earl Blumenauer , United States House of Representatives (D-OR) (confirmed)
Hon. Peter Gordon MacKay, Canadian Minister of National Defense and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway (confirmed)
Hon. Edward Rendell, Governor, State of Pennsylvania (invited)
Hon. Bill Richardson, Governor, State of New Mexico (invited)
Mayor Richard Daley, Chicago (invited)
Katherine Baer, Senior Director for Clean Waters, America Rivers (confirmed)
Cameron Davis, President, Alliance for the Great Lakes (confirmed)
MaryAnn Dickinson, Executive Director, Alliance for Water Efficiency (confirmed)
Anne Evens, Director, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Energy (confirmed)
Van Jones, founding president of Green For All, senior fellow with the Center for American Progress (invited)
Maureen McAvey, Executive Vice President, Infrastructure Initiatives, Urban Land Institute (confirmed)
Anne Pramaggiore, Executive VP of Customer Operations and Regulatory ad External Affairs, Commonwealth Edison Co. (confirmed)
Ilana Preuss, Director of Campaign Partnerships, T4 America (confirmed)
Rob Puentes, Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution (confirmed)
Samuel W. Speck, Commissioner, International Joint Commission; member, International Joint Commission for the Great Lakes (confirmed)
Wally Tyner, Professor of Agricultural Economics, Purdue (confirmed)

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 17, 2008, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE: Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago

NOTE: Attendance at the forum is by invitation only. Members of the media are welcome and may register with Jonathan Freedman, Group SJR, at 212-751-3326, 347-528-0853, or jf@groupsjr.com ; or with Mandy Burrell Booth, MPC asst. communications director, at mburrell@metroplanning.org or 312-863-6018.

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