2018 Urban Innovation Symposium - Evening Session

APA Illinois Chapter


Friday, February 9, 2018, 5:30 p.m.
Friday, February 9, 2018, 11 p.m. CST

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The evening session will consist of three discussion panels.

1. Who is Welcome in Public Space? - explores how public space improvement, or placemaking, affects who is welcome to occupy and enjoy the space. A diverse speaker panel will discuss the balance between urban design and equity, looking for ways to achieve both concurrently. 

2. Role of Data - asks how we as planners can capitalize on the available data to better understand communities while calling for more transparency in the algorithms that rule our lives. This discussion will also consider how different data can tell varying stories that influence planning and policy in communities. 

3. Transit Oriented Dilemmas - no planning concept in Chicago has proven as divisive as transit oriented development. This panel engages a diverse group of activists, planners, developers and other stakeholders in a conversation on the political, community, economic, and planning concepts surrounding today's TODs. 


Lynda Lopez

Lynda Lopez is a graduate of the University of Chicago and has been involved in anti-displacement efforts with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association and Grassroots Illinois Action-Humboldt Park Area. She is a writer for Streetsblog Chicago focusing on transit-oriented development, transportation issues in Latino communities and works at the Brighton ... Read More

Benet Haller


Ernest Wong

Ernest is the founding principal of Site Design Group. He has been responsible for projects including the Ping Tom Memorial Park and now the Obama Library. He also sits on the Chicago Landmarks Commission and the Commission on Cultural Affairs and was one of the Tribune’s 2010 Chicagoans of ... Read More

Juanita Irizarry

Juanita Irizarry’s background is in community development and housing policy. In her role as Executive Director of Friends of the Parks, she notoriously led the effort against the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Grant Park. Friends of the Parks has also been vocal in regard to the ... Read More

Joy Aruguete

Since 1995, Joy Aruguete has served as Chief Executive Officer of Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, an award-winning nonprofit community development corporation dedicated to community-controlled development, the preservation and management of affordable housing, economic development centered on job creation, comprehensive community planning and engagement, and the development of community leaders. Read More

Phillip Sipka

Phillip Sipka is a co-founder of Kusanya Cafe in Englewood. A resident of the neighborhood, he helped open the cafe with neighbors who wanted to provide a new community staple to the low-resourced area. He honed his business skills at the popular Robust Coffee Lounge in Woodlawn. "The Steve Harvey ... Read More

Stacey Sutton

Sutton’s current research builds on her expertise in three interrelated areas: community economic development, neighborhood change, and small business development and retail landscapes- with a concern for equitable development throughout her work. In addition to her scholarship, Stacey has worked as a research consultant with the Aspen Institute, Roundtable ... Read More

Rachel Ramirez

Rachel started working for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless in February 2012. Since then, she has taken part in the Reentry Committee and the Prostitution Alternatives Round Table, working with formerly incarcerated populations. She also works with Latinx populations to expand CCH’s relationships with Chicago’s Latino communities ... Read More

Contact Info

Brandon Nolin, bnolin2@gmail.com