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December - Holiday Party & Awards Ceremony

Our holiday party at the Cliff Dwellers Club afforded guests beautiful views of Millennium Park and the festive lights of Michigan Avenue while they enjoyed music, appetizers, cocktails and great conversation. We also honored five exemplary New Urbanist projects with our annual Charter Awards, including a winning student entry  for  Best Block, Street and Building. Congratulations to all of the 2014 CNU Illinois Charter Award Winners. Special thanks to our 2014 jury; James Broughton (Fitzgerald Associates), John Greenfield (Streetsblog Chicago), and Emily Talon (Arizona State University), Jennifer Settle (MGLM Architects) and Jerremy Foss (Manhard Consulting, Ltd, Jury Chair).


View the 2014 Charter Award Winners here.

October - The Green Event

Edible Roofs: Urbanism and On-Site Food Production


Along with our sponsors, Kendall College and Omni Ecosystems, CNU Illinois co-hosted our first event with the Illinois Chapter of the US Green Building Council. Over one-hundred guests attended our program on rooftop agriculture. Food law attorney Richard Schell moderated our panel discussion featuring presentations of three successful rooftop gardens at various scales. Michael Repkin of Urban Habitat Chicago presented the roof garden created for Chicago’s True Nature Foods Co-op. Jen Rosenthal shared Uncommon Ground’s experience becoming the first certified organic rooftop farm in the US and Kevin Jezewski of SAVOR…Chicago, food service provider for McCormick Place, described their operation of the largest farm-to-fork rooftop garden in the Midwest. Kendall College also treated attendees to back-of-the-house tours of their Riverworks Campus.

Michael Repkin - Urban Habitat Chicago

Jen Rosenthal - Uncommon Ground

Kevin Jezewski - SAVOR…Chicago

September - State Conference

CNU Illinois 7: Ready, Set, Plan!


Co-hosted by the Village or Orland Park, our seventh annual state conference investigated the urban planning process at various scales. Our morning program explored “The Region,” “The City,” and “The District” with presentations of the Millennium Reserve, the Village of Park Forest, and Chicago’s proposed Lakeside development. Our afternoon program showcased Downtown Orland Park's “Main Street.” The keynote address was delivered by Orland Park Mayor, the Honorable Daniel J. McLaughlin, and our event concluded with a guided tour of downtown Orland Park and the Ninety 7 Fifty mixed-use development.

August - Parkside of Old Town Excursion

In August CNU Illinois hosted a walking tour of the Parkside of Old Town. The tour was led by the project’s architect, Patrick FitzGerald, founding principal of FitzGerald Associates Architects. The tour highlighted the challenge of integrating a range of affordability options into a cohesively designed community. In addition to achieving a diversity of housing types, the redevelopment also restored the abandoned street grid and introduced corridors of pedestrian green space connected to a nearby charter school, ball fields, park district facilities, and recreational green spaces.

July - Green Exchange Excursion

Our July Excursion took CNU Illinois to Chicago’s Green Exchange. Certified as LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the former Cooper Lighting factory is now a multi-tenant workspace housing sustainability-focused businesses. Property Manager Lori Korwek Thomas led the tour and noted that not only is the tenant mix solely dedicated to “green” enterprises but tenant build-outs and building operations also follow “green” protocols. In addition, many of the interior finishes and furnishings feature reclaimed and recycled materials. The tour included the interior shared spaces, the exterior courtyard terrace, the on-site vegetable garden, the green roof, and the behind-the-scene mechanical facilities.

June - Harvest Commons Excursion

CNU Illinois was treated to a private tour of Chicago’s Harvest Commons Apartments led by Jack Schroeder of Landon Bone Baker Architects and Linda Sissac, Property Manager for the Heartland Alliance. The renovation of the former Viceroy Hotel into an 89-unit affordable residence included restoration of the historic facade, preservation of historic interior features, and the introduction of many “green building” strategies such as permeable pavement, a geothermal-powered HVAC system, and a green roof. The renovation also created a new  “teaching kitchen,” an on-site urban garden, a chicken coop, and a bee apiary.

May - Spring Speaker Event

Affordable Urbanism


Along with this year’s event co-host, DePaul’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development, CNU Illinois was pleased to welcome over thirty guests to our Spring Speaker Series. Almost one-quarter were attending a CNU Illinois event for their first time. This year’s topic, “Affordable Urbanism,” included presentations by Ben Carlson, Director of Urban Design for the Boston firm of Goody Clancy and by Jeff Bone, Principal at Chicago’s Landon Bone Baker Architects. The presentations highlighted the importance of connecting with the physical context of project sites and the need for engaging the local community in the planning process. Insightful questions posed by our audience probed the regulatory and financial frameworks necessary to support affordability and the strategies necessary to ensure economic inclusion and avoid resident displacement caused by gentrification.

Ben Carlson - Goody Clancy

Jeff Bone - Landon Bone Baker

April - Happy Hour

CNU Illinois hosted its second event of 2014 with a Happy Hour at the Emerald Loop. These informal events attract a diverse mixture of professionals and promote lively conversation. The event was also an opportunity for attendees to preview CNU Illinois’s first-ever publication. Based on 2013’s state conference, “Creating Common Ground,” the journal is available through Amazon.

March - Happy Hour

CNU Illinois kicked off its 2014 Events Calendar with a Happy Hour in March. Familiar faces from the CNU community were joined by several attending a CNU Illinois event for the very first time. Happy Hours are informal gatherings that allow our participants to meet, network, share common interests and create new connections. Non-members, friends and guests are always welcome to attend.

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