CCAC eNews
April 2018
CCAC eNews is the monthly newsletter of the Chicago Central Area Committee. For more information about the CCAC or to inquire about membership, please contact Kelly O'Brien at (312) 602-5148 or
Download the 2018 Meeting Calendar!
The CCAC 2018 Meeting Calendar is ready to download in PDF format. The Calendar lists this year's dates and locations for our popular luncheon speaker series, hosted each month by a different CCAC member organization.
(NOTE: Locations subject to change--see website for newest calendar. Meetings open to paid members and guests, only.)
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CCAC Hears About Resiliency
CCAC would like to thank LeeAnn Tomas-Foster, Associate Vice President, Environmental Public Market Leader, Arcadis, for hosting CCAC’s monthly luncheon on Tuesday, April 10th. The membership heard from Carly Foster, Urban and Community Resilience Practice Lead, Arcadis, and Stefan Schaffer, Deputy Policy Director, City of Chicago on resiliency. 
Resilience planning leverages solutions for one issue into solving others and avoids the huge opportunity cost of failing to invest in resilience. Both Foster and Schaffer discussed how risk is being leveraged into opportunities around the world, the United States, and in the Chicago area, as well as how the many benefits can be quantified and substantiated.
Foster set the stage by referencing the Rockefeller Foundation’s resiliency definition, “resiliency is the capacity of businesses, individuals, communities and systems within a plant to sidestep or operate, survive, adapt and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they may face.” Bringing it to a more local level, Foster explained that, “Chicago’s definition of resiliency is the ability to be a city where residents, neighborhoods, institutions, and government agencies are successfully connected to each other in the pursuit of economic opportunity, safety, equity, and sustainability despite shocks.” Shocks include things like natural disasters. Our members were surprised to hear that there were 60 federal emergency and major disaster declarations since 1957 and a third of them occurred between 2000-2013. “Stresses, both chronic and acute, that can exacerbate shocks, according to Foster, include disconnected communities, transit and transportation issues, economic disparities, racial and economic segregation, crime, aging infrastructure, and the combined sewer overflow that will threaten health and well-being.”
(L:R) LeeAnn Tomas-Foster, Associate Vice President, Environmental Public Market Leader, Arcadis; Carly A. Foster AICP, CFM, Urban and Community Resilience Practice Lead, Arcadis; Stefan Schaffer, Deputy Policy Director, City of Chicago; and Kelly O'Brien, Executive Director, CCAC.
 CCAC audience at the April 10th Meeting
Describing a graph shown at the luncheon analyzing the uncertainty of risk and when they will occur, Foster spoke on a scenario with the lowest emission peak, stating, “the lowest assumes we will peak our emissions between the years of 2040 and 2050 which will lead to tremendous change within the urban and non-urban environment.” To quantify this statement, she mentioned that Boston is on track to hit one foot of sea level rise between 2030-2040.
Another form of resilience includes proactive vs reactive risk management. “Even with a single disaster, cities have seen 2-1 returns of investment in terms of loss avoided from direct physical damages, displacement costs due to the investments in resiliency. By increasing the development standards within your community, you will receive a return on investment. When people feel safe, they’re more willing to invest,” stated Foster.
Foster spoke on a new initiative called the resilience dividend, which according to the Rockefeller Foundation, is what you can do with the avoided opportunity cost of having to invest in response and recovery. “You can invest in other improvements in your community and increase the quality of life and revitalize economic areas with that money. For example, resilience also looks like equitable action and multipurpose solutions and infrastructure,” stated Foster. Continuing her remarks, she provided various examples of investments in Norfolk VA, Pittsburgh, PA, and Boston MA.
Stefan Schaffer, works inside the City of Chicago Mayor’s office on its policy team, focusing on resiliency. “Being a part of the resilience plan, working in tandem with 100 resilient cities and the Rockefeller Foundation is a unique opportunity for Chicago to take a step back to think about initiatives that address needs that exist today with a longer-term lens of 5-10 years from now,” Schaffer stated.
Chicago is a part of ‘100 Resilient Cities’, a global initiative that seeks to help cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.
Based on a series of agenda-setting workshops, surveys, and other stakeholder engagements asking “what a resilience strategy for Chicago should look like,” Schaffer noted the following items identified as Chicago’s most pressing resilience challenges:
  • reducing disparities within Chicago’s neighborhoods
  • addressing the root causes of crime and violence
  • ensuring the provision of critical infrastructure
  • promoting engaged, prepared, and cohesive communities
The strategy will focus on three specific pillars:
Strong Neighborhoods
The goals to create strong neighborhoods include increasing jobs and investment leveraged through community action in communities with historic underinvestment and creating a city-community partnership to build community trust and social cohesion. Schaffer highlighted the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, which leverages growth in investment that’s occurring in the downtown district and funnels dollars into the neighborhoods which are historically underinvested in.
Robust Infrastructure
To create a more robust infrastructure within the City of Chicago, Schaffer shared a goal to increase investment in green infrastructure in order to reduce flood risk and create more sustainable neighborhoods. The City identified 18 areas to do further refined analysis and the overall plan is to develop a process that can be scaled and expanded on how to make green infrastructure investments in the future. Another goal for robust infrastructure includes improving transportation connections between workforce opportunities and areas with high unemployment. Schaffer discussed the mobility and workforce pilot. “Mobility and access to transit and relatedly access to jobs and job opportunities is a significant barrier. We are in the process of designing a pilot that looks at areas that have both transit opportunities and workforce opportunities and building on those existing transit and stations in place, where residents would be able to access it,” Schaffer explained. The City plans to hold community workshops in the Washington Heights and Gage Park communities, which are two of the areas on the south and west side that need support.
Prepared Communities
The final pillar the City will focus on is creating prepared communities. The goals are to reduce vulnerabilities to extreme weather events for disconnected Chicagoans and to increase personal resilience of first responders. According to Schaffer, “UI Labs, NASA, various universities, and Microsoft are working together to think about long-term planning for extreme weather events. In 1995, Chicago experience a heat wave that killed over 700 residents and we’re trying to avoid that in the future.” The plan is to leverage data sources to improve service to vulnerable populations and extend capacity to include predictive analytics for extreme snow, ice and rain events.
To increase the personal resilience of the City’s first responders, the department is working on an initiative. The Office of Emergency Management Communication suffers from a high absentee rate and the employers are being paid a substantial amount of money for overtime. The City is working on an opportunity to interview staff and make sure they are aware of the opportunities that are available to them.
Looking forward, Schaffer expressed the idea of integrating the concepts of resilience in the City’s planning going forward. City plans that will involve resilience include the Hazard Mitigation plan, the five-year Affordable housing plan which is being rewritten, and the Youth Quality of Life index.
Both Foster and Schaffer conveyed that resilience is everyone’s responsibility and encouraged CCAC members to remember that there must be a unified and integrated vision in place.
Next CCAC Meeting:                                       
Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at JGMA Architecture
Please join us at JGMA Architecture on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, for the next CCAC meeting, hosted by Juan Moreno, President, and Aaron Spiering, Project Architect, of JGMA Architecture. This luncheon is for members only.
CCAC Executive Committee
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
JGMA Architecture
223 W. Ohio Street
Chicago, IL 60654 
Juan Moreno
JGMA Architecture

Aaron Spiering
JGMA Architecture
Kelly O'Brien at 

CCAC Executive Committee Seeks Member Input

Please join the CCAC Executive Committee to learn about the:

Central City Investment Framework
A Proposal for Investment and Quality of Place
The Chicago Central Area Committee (CCAC) is proposing to lead the preparation of a new strategy for Chicago’s central city, in the form of a Central City Investment Framework. This will be a rapid initiative to focus attention on locations where an integrated approach can leverage greater investment. This is also an opportunity to anticipate and resolve emerging challenges and clear the path for enhancements that can benefit all of Chicago.
The purpose of the investment framework proposal is to create a clear vision for the direction of the Central City including: 
  • focus on places with the greatest potential for change
  • create a strategy crossing development and infrastructure that can leverage private and public development
  • enhance alignment between the public and private sector to create self-sustaining investment
  • enhance connectivity between neighborhoods, emerging mixed-use districts, the historic business districts and the government core
A six-month project schedule would drive progress, and a time horizon to 2030 will give certainty to the plan and allow proposed investments to be linked in a concrete way. 
Christine Carlyle, AIA, AICP, Principal and Director of Planning at SCB has been named to the Executive Board of the Chicago Central Area Committee
The Chicago Central Area Committee (CCAC) announced that Christine Carlyle is joining its Executive Board. Carlyle has over 30 years of experience in planning, urban design, and architecture, and is the founder of Solomon Cordwell Buenz’s (SCB) planning and urban design practice with significant local, national, and international work.
The CCAC brings together corporate leaders, design professionals, and developers to help shape Chicago’s identity by providing a forum to discuss, analyze, and influence strategic planning choices. The CCAC actively supports activities that strengthen the City’s competitive edge and enhances its urban quality of life.
“This is an amazing time for the City of Chicago and cities across the U.S. and globe as more people choose to live and work in urban environments,” Carlyle said. “I am honored to be joining the Executive Board of the Chicago Central Area Committee and to be part this progressive team of urban thinkers. At SCB, our work is focused on making a positive impact on cities; we are always thinking about how to improve the quality of the built environment, as well as the quality of life for the community. I am excited to be part of this committee and contribute my insights and ideas to support the continued vitality of this incredible City.”
Carlyle has extensive public and private sector experience both in the U.S. and internationally. At SCB, Carlyle has led many successful community planning and design efforts, with a particular focus on large-scale, mixed-use urban redevelopment projects. Highlights of her recent Chicago area work include the River District, a redevelopment plan for 30 acres along the North Branch of the Chicago River; City of Chicago West Loop Design Guidelines; Chicago Transit Authority Red and Purple Line Modernization TOD Plans;  Illinois Medical District Master Plan; Chicago Housing Authority Roosevelt Square Master Plan; Vision 2025 for the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, Chicago. She has also developed numerous local comprehensive plans and transit-oriented district (TOD) plans, as well as urban design and visualization for implementation of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) GoTo 2040 Plan.
Prior to joining SCB, Carlyle’s professional career includes Director of Planning for Farr Associates in Chicago, IL; Senior Planner for Skidmore Owings & Merrill, in Chicago, IL; Assistant Director for Department of Planning & Development in Dallas, TX; and Project Architect / Designer for Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott in Boston, MA. Throughout her career, Carlyle has held many civic leadership roles that include the Ely Chapter Board for Lambda Alpha International; Board Member and Planning & Advocacy Chair for The Magnificent Mile Association; Executive Board Member for the Women in Planning and Development; Regional Planning and Urban Affairs Committee Chair for the American Institute of Architects; Member of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design Alumni Council; and a Member of Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Public Policy Committee and Technical Assistance Panels.
Her work has received recognition through numerous awards including ULI Vision Award, International Downtown Association Planning Award, Congress of New Urbanism Awards; American Planning Association Best Practice Awards; and National Endowment for the Arts Grants. Carlyle received her Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University‘s Graduate School of Design and her Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University.
“Christine’s experiences and insights will be a valuable addition to the Executive Committee,” said Kelly O’Brien, CCAC’s Executive Director. “As CCAC continues its long legacy of supporting smart and sustainable development and visionary planning, she will play an important role in shaping the organizations efforts.” 
“We are pleased to welcome Christine to be a part of CCAC leadership,” said Greg Hummel, Partner, Bryan Cave LLP and CCAC Chairman. “Our members will benefit from her being a resource on urban design and planning issues. Her contributions will strengthen CCAC’s ability to increase our impact around the City.”
The Chicago Central Area Committee (CCAC), formed in 1956 by corporate leaders and developers, has a long history of influencing strategic planning choices in Chicago. Members share an interest in supporting activities that strengthen the City’s competitive edge and enhances its urban quality of life. Since its founding, CCAC members have worked in partnership with the City of Chicago on major plans that focus on the development of the downtown area including Chicago 21. CCAC remains committed to being at the forefront of creating the City’s identity, shaping the vision of a global destination and helping to set the right priorities to attract broad based investment.
CCAC Boat Tour of Chicago River
CCAC and strategic partners will be hosting a design SPRINT in the fall of 2018 focused on equity and access along the Chicago River.
In preparation, CCAC SPRINT members are invited to an evening river cruise, focused on the South Branch and its adjacent neighborhoods on May 23rd beginning at 4:30 pm. The boat tour is being organized by the Metropolitan Planning Council, a CCAC strategic partner, and will feature a panel of guest speakers as well as plenty of networking time. Food will be provided and a cash bar will be available. This event is sold out, however, you may still participate in the sprint in the fall. 
For additional information, please e-mail Kelly O'Brien at
CCAC Young Leader Quarter 2 Event 
New technology is disrupting every aspect of life around us. New technologies in the transit arena, however, will arguably have the most impact on the future of the City of Chicago, including its local economy, urban design, density and housing affordability. While this impact remains a concern, implementation remains the biggest challenge of all.
Join us on Thursday, June 21, 2018 for a roundtable discussion to review these new technologies and the impact that major technology shifts will have on Chicago’s traffic and transportation systems, including its infrastructure, and to discuss the practicality of implementation. The event will be held in the newest property from The John Buck Company, the Rooftop Sky Garden (35th Floor) at 151 N. Franklin, Chicago, IL.
Confirmed speakers include:
  • David Pennington, Managing Director, North American Infrastructure Banking Practice, BMO Capital Markets 
  • P.S. Sriraj, Ph.D., Director of the Urban Transportation Center, Director of Metropolitan Transportation Support Initiative, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Mark Walbrun,  Practice Leader- Rail and Transit, Mott MacDonald
  • Ed Zotti, (Moderator), Transportation Specialist, CCAC
For membership information and to RSVP, contact Shalora Jasper at
Interested in Participating in the CCAC Young Leader River Sprint?
In the fall of this year, CCAC Young Leaders will set out to provide a pro-bono planning and design effort to assist a selected community partner or partners in creating a vision for redevelopment of multiple sites along the Chicago River with equity, resiliency, and connectivity as fundamental goals. In addition, job creation, real estate investment, transit connectivity, land use and open space planning, housing, and environmental improvement will all be focus areas of the charrette. 
Participants will get the opportunity to network with one another, utilize their professional expertise, and create a meaningful planning and design solution to address the City’s most pressing problems.
Interested in participating in the sprint? Please e-mail Kelly O'Brien,  to join this effort.
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