Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development

MDRN Events

Upcoming MDRN Events

Stay Tuned! 


MDRN Spring Event: Municipal Design Review in Metropolitan Chicago
MDRN's Spring 2014 event was held at the American Planning Association as part of their 'Tuesdays@APA' series. Guest Speakers John R. Hedrick and the Vincent DePaul Professor of Anthropology Robert Rotenberg discussed the history of the Design Review process in the Chicago Metropolitan region and provided case studies for successful implementation.   


MDRN Fall Event- Placemaking: Form-Based Codes & Community Revitalization
This year’s fall event, coordinated with the American Planning Association-Illinois Chapter, focused on Placemaking and Form Based Codes.  After presentations led by Carol Wyant (FBCI), Jeff Brady (Village of Glenview) and Mike De Rouin (FitzGerald Associates Architects) on the applications of Form-Based Coding, we held breakout sessions with each speaker to further delve into these issues. 

MDRN Summer Mobile Workshop: Des Plaines, IL (June 20, 2013).
This year's highly successful event was hosted by the City of Des Plaines. We toured two high density mixed-use Transit Oriented Developments as a means to compare best practices in urban design. Additionally, we visited historic architecture and viewed the before, during and after stages of an in-progress downtown streetscape project that is focusing on pedestrian and bicycle design improvements.

The 6th Annual MDRN Spring Symposium: "Sign Regulations, Local Context, and New Technology: An Interactive Dialogue" (March 19, 2013). Innovative signage technologies are the leading edge of economic recovery- and architectural design review needs to keep pace! Recent local examples of LED reader board signs, branded feather flag signs, and national trends toward building "wraps" have challenged municipal staff and commissions. At this unique interactive symposium, participants hears from signage industry experts about trends and technology. Then there was a question-and-answer open discussion with MDRN participants will allow a chance to compare regulatory approaches with planning staff and design review professional from around the region.


"MDRN & APA-IL All-day Sustainability Conference" (October 18, 2012). Our first jointly sponsored sustainability conference was designed to facilitate discussion and exchange ideas on initiatives related to sustainability. Sustainability is based on a simple principle - everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, and permits fulfilling the social, economic and physical requirements of present and future generations. This program was of interest to urban planners, engineers, architects, elected and appointed officials, students, and other environmental enthusiasts.

"Exploring Notable Developments & Design Projects in Downtown Naperville: A Mobile Workshop" (July 19, 2012). This year's mobile workshop featured unique downtown developments in the City of Naperville. With a focus on architectural and design elements, the event started with a brief discussion on Naperville's Downtown2030 Plan. Then we hit the pavement for a walking tour of downtown, which included highlights such as the Main Street Promenade, Central Park, and the Riverwalk. The visits to downtown sites were led by design professionals and featured discussions on key elements of the Downtown2030 Plan, including: mixed-use development, preserving the small-town character and traditional building designs of the downtown area, and pedestrian improvements. Speakers were: Allison Laff, Naperville Planning Services Team Leader; Anastasia Urban, Naperville Development Manager; Karyn Robles, Naperville Transportation Team Leader; and Rick Hitchcock, Hitchcock Design Group: President.

The 5th Annual MDRN Spring Symposium: "Design & Density: Infill Redevelopment - New Opportunities in Post-Recession Urban Areas" (March 15, 2012). This network event was a lively, thought-provoking seminar on the broader suburban context of infill development, including discussions on collaboration, creativity, and solving such issues as infrastructure and financing challenges. Roundtable discussions were led by seasoned peer facilitators and allowed participants to share and compare experiences, best practices, and new insights. Highlights included: The Eastwood at Central Street, Evanston and The Sertus Tower in Downtown Oak Park. Speakers were: Bob Horne, President of Dodge Capital and Linda Bolte, Oak Park Chairperson of the Plan Commission.


"Design & Development: Co-Exisiting in Difficult Times" (November 3, 2011). Discussed strategies to balance design and development interests during difficult economic conditions and municipal budgeting constraints. Moderated by Jacques Gourguechon, Camiros, Ltd. and Senior Chaddick Fellow. Speakers were Tom Poupard, Director of the Village of Northbrook; and Judith Brill, Architect and President of ALA.

"Downtown Revitalization in Liberyville: Public, Private, Main Street Collaboration" (July 14, 2011). This special "mobile workshop" in Libertyville, hosted by the Village of Libertyville and MDRN, explored the unique public and private, and non-profit collaboration that has made Libertyville's downtown area a vibrant destination. Speakers were Karen Marren, Libertyville Associate Planner; Dan Dalziel, 3D Design Studio; Pam Hume, Director of Mainstreet Libertyville; and John McLinden, School Street Development.

"Greening of Design Review" (March 10, 2011). A special network symposium focused on how green technology can be seamlessly incorporated into communities for an aesthetically appealing design. Speakers were Tom Farace, AICP Senior Planner, Village of Schaumburg and Alan Bombick, Legat Architectural and Planning firm.


"Empowering Effective Placemaking with Design Guidelines" (November 10, 2010). A technical workshop, co-sponsored by APA-Chicago Metro Section, explored the role of design guidelines in terms of intent and looked at how guidelines should be crafted and integrated into the design review process. Panelist discussed various considerations. The speakers were Mahender Vasandani, President, M Square; Doug Hammel, Senior Associate, Camiros, Ltd.; and John Hedrick, President, Scenic Illinois.

"Downtown Redevelopment and Design in Glen Ellyn, IL" (May 27, 2010). An on-site event held in Glen Ellyn, featured local experts discussing the design, character and public process issues involved in creating and implementing a downtown strategic plan, with a guided walking tour of picturesque downtown Glen Ellyn. The speakers were Jim Louthen, President, Town Builder Studios; Rita Tungare, Director of Community Development, Village of Glen Ellyn; Staci Hulseberg, Director of Planning and Development, Village of Glen Ellyn; and Michele Stegall, Village Planner, Village of Glen Ellyn. Please see below for copies of the panel's presentations.

Jim Louthen, President, Town Builder Studios
Powerpoint Presentation

Rita Tungare, Director of Community Development, City of St. Charles, IL
Powerpoint Presentation

Staci Hulseberg, Director of Planning and Development, Village of Glen Ellyn
Powerpoint Presentation

Michele Stegall, Village Planner, Village of Glen Ellyn
Powerpoint Presentation

"New Issues for Community Design” (March 11, 2010). Featured DePaul professor Bob Rotenberg leading a participatory discussion about the history and current meaning of community aesthetics in the suburbs, and explored the many sides of this design value through municipal staff experiences.


"Planning Law Update" (November 17, 2009). Offered in conjunction with American Planning Association, Illinois Chapter, event focused on recent legislative and litigation issues affecting design review. Moderated by John Hedrick, Attoney. The speakers were Donna Pugh and Alyssa Berman, Foley & Lardner LLC; Julie Tappendorf, David Silverman and Ancel Glink, Municipal Attorney’s; Tom Smith, UIC Urban Planning/Duncan Associates; and Richard F. Friedman, Neal & Leroy LLC.

"Public Landscape Design -- Burnham's Influence on Past and Present in Winnetka, IL" (July 22, 2009). This on-site event, focused on practical aspects for community planning of public landscapes. Organized jointly by Kenilworth and Winnetka staff, who guided participants on a walking tour of the Village's downtown highlighting recent improvements. The speakers were Nan Greenough, former Winnetka Village Trustee; Gwen Somers Yant, Kenilworth Plan Commissioner; Scott Freres, the Lakota Group; and Mike D’Onofrio, Winnetka Community Development.

"Best Practices in Design for Challenging Times" (February 26, 2009). This hands-on meeting focused on the latest techniques for maintaining effective municipal design review processes under difficult economic condition and budgeting contraints. Moderated by John Houseal, Houseal Lavigne. The speakers were John Hedrick, Chair, Glenview Appearance Committee; Cathy Czerniak, City of Lake Forest; and Bob Sullivan, Village of Orland Park. Please see below for copies of the panel's presentations.

John Hedrick, President, Scenic Illinois
Powerpoint Presentation

Cathy Czerniak, City of Lake Forest
Powerpoint Presentation

Bob Sullivan, Village of Orland Park
Powerpoint Presentation


“Good Design in Hard Times” (November 13, 2008). This meeting focused on the challenges faced by architects to maintain quality design under recessionary economic conditions. Moderated by John Hedrick, Chairman of the Glenview Appearance Commission. The speakers were Greg Mulac, Vice President of Turner Construction Co. and Peter Theodore, Camburas and Theodore Inc.

“Suburban Downtown Place-making” (April 22, 2008). The meeting emphasized green design considerations of downtown redevelopment plans, including landscape design, including an illustrative walking tour of Arlington Heights. The speakers were Charles Perkins, Arlington Heights and Rick Hitchcock, Hitchcock Design.

“Sign Control – Planning & Law” (July, 2008). Experts involved in national litigation and regulation of sign and billboard issues reviewed local developments. The speakers were Bill Cogley, Attorney, City of Elgin; Rick Kozal, Attorney, City of Elgin; and Marya Morris, Duncan Associates.

“Legal Updates for Design Review” (January 2008). The Ancel Glink law firm presented an overview of legal issues, followed by a staff case study of Appearance Commission implementation. The speakers included Julie Tappendorf, Attorney, Ancel Glink; David Silverman, Attorney, Ancel Glink; and Michele Stegall, Planner, Glen Ellyn.


"Shopping Centers- Multi-Tenant Signage" (September 19, 2007). This practical session focused on the unique issues of shopping centers with corporate architecture and monument signage regulation. The speakers were Tom Farace, Planner, Village of Schaumburg and John Zoerner, Mid-America Asset Management.

"Illinois Legislation/New Urbanism" (July 19, 2007). Holland+Knight law firm attorneys, who were directly involved in shaping the Illinois planning legislation, clarified the authority and scope of municipal review, with a broader perspective for architectural review presented by a CNU Illinois Chapter representative. The speakers were Julie Tapperndorf and Victor Fillipini, Holland+Knight and Mahender Vasandani, Chair of CNU’s Illinois Chapter.

"MDRN Form Based Codes in Glenview, IL" (March, 2007). This organizational meeting, sponsored by the Village of Glenview, brought together municipal staff for the MDRN organizational meeting, and featured “form-based codes” as a discussion topic. The speakers were John Hedrick, Chair, Village of Glenview; Ellen Dean, Economic Development, Village of Glenview; and Jeff Brady, Planner, Village of Glenview.