2020 National Planning Conference

Elevated Chicago: Connecting People, Building Equity

Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m. PDT

CM | 1.25

Location: 2005

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  • Find strategies for implementing collaborative efforts to drive systems change in urban development.
  • Understand the opportunities and challenges for advancing equitable TOD as a strategy for racial equity.
  • Identify potential strategies for advancing ecodistrict approaches that maintain community control and prevent displacement while building healthy, climate resilient communities.


Displacement of people of color is one of the most urgent problems in Chicago, occurring in neighborhoods with accelerated markets and rising rents as well as historically disinvested communities that residents leave in search of greater safety and access to opportunity. Elevated Chicago, a collaboration among nonprofit, public and private leaders, is committed to transforming the half-mile radius around transit stations into hubs of opportunity and connection to address the region’s deeply rooted racial inequity by preventing displacement and supporting comprehensive development in disinvested neighborhoods.

Elevated seeks to drive systems change toward racial equity in the built environment through capital cultivation and deployment, programmatic support and development, advocacy for changes in culture, policies, and practices, storytelling through community-driven data and narratives, and technical assistance to organizations working in the built environment. This panel discusses Elevated’s collaborative process and strategies; the use of data, maps and community ownership models to leverage local assets and advance climate resiliency and health outcomes; perspective from one community that is part of the initiative; and strategies resulting from the effort. Early implementation efforts are profiled, with a focus on providing a model for other communities grappling with transforming communities through equitable TOD.

Session Speakers

Fran Lefor Rood, AICP
Organizer and Speaker
SB Friedman Development Advisors
Chicago, IL

Juan Carlos Linares
LUCHA (Latin United Community Housing Organization)

Marcella Bondie Keenan, AICP
Center for Neighborhood Technology
New York City, NY