Mayor McLaughlin Participates in US Conference of Mayors' Summit in Chicago

Mayor McLaughlin Participates in US Conference of Mayors' Summit in Chicago
Posted on 05/05/2011

Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin recently joined more than 50 mayors, design professionals and urban planners in Chicago for a mayoral summit on city design to identify ways that smart design can make cities more livable.

Celebrating the Mayors Institute of City Design (MICD), and the American Architectural Foundation (AAF), summit participants examined the power of arts and design to make cities more efficient while also honoring the design legacy of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

"I've attended the summit in the past and have found it extremely educational as well as being inspirational," McLaughlin said. "Seeing and hearing about the revitalization taking place in cities all over America and how different mayors and their cities handle major obstacles to accomplish these great projects that benefit their citizens is a tremendous benefit to every mayor," the mayor added.

For 25 years, MICD has been the only organization that gives mayors the opportunity to learn how smart design can help to solve problems in communities to create more efficient cities. Smart design is a language of problem solving and through MICD, mayors learn to use smart design to creatively reduce costs through innovation in areas such as public transit, downtown development infrastructure and sustainability.

During the two-day summit, mayors and design professionals discussed the successes and lessons from MICD, as well as basic topics vital to the future of American cities. Participants examined design in relationship with struggling budgets and growing demands for transportation, economic development and other challenges. Following their discussions, the mayors presented their joint conclusions to a panel of federal officials, including NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Transportation Under Secretary Roy W. Kienitz.

"Most people get up every morning and go to work without ever thinking about the design of their cities and how if effects so many aspects of our lives," McLaughlin noted. "This summit was a great opportunity to be reminded of these issues so that each of the mayors could go home and look at ways to improve their individual communities," the mayor said.

Key recommendations from the mayors and summit participants included removing burdensome regulations that hinder transportation projects; fund existing transportation systems and not just new ones; expanding the national metropolitan policy; establishing a national office of design excellence; considering a federal creativity stimulus that seeds entrepreneurship in design and city building; and inventing new procurement processes that promote creative innovation.

Of the recommendations, MICD partner AAF President and CEO Ron Bogle said, "The work we have done together over these few days will elevate national attention, activate the national discussion, and help formulate a national agenda on the role of design and the arts in stimulating transformation, vitality, and economic vigor in our cities."