MDRN Workshop & Walking Tour in Downers Grove (July 20, 2017) - Municipal professionals representing over twenty Chicago area towns converged on the Village of Downers Grove for the tenth-annual MDRN summer workshop and walking tour. The event, which this year focused on leadership in sustainable urban design, was led by Director of Community Development, Stan Popovich and Director of Public Works, Nan Newlon. MDRN Advisory Committee Members Laurie Marston, Scott Mangum and Jean Spagnoli also facilitated small group discussions designed for attendees to share and contrast the Village’s green infrastructure and TOD projects with issues and efforts in their own communities. Thanks again to the 50-plus planning and design professionals who embarked on the 1.5-mile tour as well as our hosts and volunteers for crafting a terrific learning experience! We look forward to seeing everyone at our next event.
Design that Draws: Attracting New Demographics to the Suburbs (March 16, 2017) - This joint program between the APA Chicago Metro Section (CMS), the Municipal Design Review Network (MDRN), AIA-Chicago and CNU-IL considered how urban design is helping suburbs attract young professionals and families who are seeking urban-like social and cultural amenities outside Chicago's core. Presentations by Emi Adachi (Heitman, Do Millennials Hate the Suburbs? The Demographic Perspective), Ferhat Zerin (Ginko Planning & Design) and Eileen Franz (Village of Elmhurst, Design that Draws: The Elmhurst Experience ) discussed the demands of a younger demographic, while drawing upon case studies and current research on demographic change.
Aesthetics & Aging: Design for Suburban Senior Living (October 20, 2016 ) - A panel of local planners, architects, attorneys, and urban designers discussed senior housing development challenges, as well as how they are addressing senior care developments in their communities. The infill development of these facilities in suburban downtowns has presented a unique challenge for planners, designers, and municipalities. They also present an opportunity to put many of the ideals of urbanism to work and help us explore the public health aspect of planning, by creating more walkable downtowns and developing a greater sense of community for our citizens.
Annual MDRN Summer Mobile Workshop: Glenview, IL (July 14, 2016) - The Chaddick Institute's Municipal Design Review Network (MDRN) hosted its annual "Downtown Walking Tour" this July in Glenview, Illinois. This traditional North Shore suburb has embarked on an ambitious plan to revitalize it's village downtown, including a rebuilt Metra train station, public library, repurposed Dominick's grocery store, and riverwalk along the North Branch of the Chicago River. Tours were led by Glenview planning department staff, and included in-depth analysis and discussion about the redevelopment projects undertaken by the Village.
Branding: Beyond the Logo with APA-CMS (March 10, 2016) - This year's conference, co-hosted with the Chicago Metro Section of the American Planning Association (APA-CMS), focused on the role of municipal branding in terms of placemaking, design, and economic development. We were proud to welcome a distinguished panel to DePaul University that brought a wealth of knowledge and real world experience on the issues: Bridget Lane (Director, Business Districts, Inc.), Jodi Mariano (Principal Urban Designer, Teska Associates), and Karie Frilling (Development Services Director, Village of Orland Park) each shared their unique perspectives on the topic with the entire group of more than 70 professionals across the region, and in intimate, break-out sessions.
Density By Design with CNU-Illinois
(September 24, 2015) - MDRN was proud to cohost this event with the Illinois Chapter of the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU), featuring Joseph Minicozzi, the nationally-recognized principal of the urban design firm, Urban3
. Mr. Minicozzi began the day with a presentation discussing the financial case for increasing municipal density. After his presentation, registrants participated in several charette sessions, featuring real development opportunities across several municipalities in the Chicago region. Guided by planning staff from the communities, they incorporated Mr. Minicozzi's lessons in preparing sustainable, urbanist plans for these locations.
Annual MDRN Summer Mobile Workshop: Skokie, IL (June 25, 2015) - This year's summer workshop was held in Skokie, winner of the 2014 Chaddick Municipal Development Award. The award was presented to Skokie for the visionary work the village has done in redeveloping its downtown area around the new CTA Yellow Line Station at Oakton Street. Participants at the workshop began the day with a brief presentation by Carrie Haberstich, Village of Skokie Department of Community Planning, and then hit the streets for a tour of several major projects in the downtown Skokie area, including facades along Oakton Street, the CTA Yellow Line Station, the Illinois Science and Technology Park, and a new urbanist residential development under construction along Floral Avenue.
Annual MDRN/American Planning Association Conference (November 13, 2014) The event was held at the Glenview Tyner Center, a LEED Platinum community building! We heard from sustainability experts, designers, and municipal planners who discussed cutting-edge design considerations for landscapes and hardscapes. Topics discussed included permeable pavers, green roofs, and energy-saving systems.
MDRN Summer Mobile Workshop: Wilmette-IL (August 21, 2014) For this year’s summer walking tour, we visited the Village of
Wilmette and toured the historically-significant Wilmette Theater, the beautifully rehabbed Depot Nuevo, and
a number of other stops that showcased the master planning efforts, and historic spots around the downtown area. Additionally, the Wilmette Village Board President was
on-hand to provide practical insights on downtown economic development. This
year’s event was well attended by planning staff and consultants from the area
and neighboring suburbs and closed with a unique tour of the
preservation/planning partnership for railroad station-restaurant conversion,
followed by a social luncheon on the site!
"The 7th Annual MDRN Spring Symposium: Municipal Design Review in Metropolitan Chicago" (March 18, 2014) MDRN's Annual 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
Event- Placemaking: Form-Based Codes & Community Revitalization
This years 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.
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
& 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.
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
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.
& 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Attorneys; Tom Smith, UIC Urban Planning/Duncan Associates;
and Richard F. Friedman, Neal & Leroy LLC.
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
DOnofrio, Winnetka Community Development.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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 CNUs Illinois
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.