Urban Innovation Symposium 

Chicago's leading planners—in one room.
UPPSA's annual Urban Innovation Symposium showcases planning knowledge from across the Chicago region. During the daytime session, professionals from around the region provide insight into cutting-edge ideas through deep dive lectures and panelist discussions. At the evening event, urban professionals deliver discussions and presentations in a more casual environment. This informal atmosphere encourages attendees to get to know each other and network while enjoying food and drink. Free and open to the public. 

The 2019 Urban Innovation Symposium will return to its roots by focusing on collaborative creativity to solve a plethora of problems challenging the urban environment. The format will include expert deep dive lectures on specific topics as well as standard panel discussions to deliberate with experts and innovators within their respective fields. The discussions will touch on Claiming Spaces: The Role of Public Art as Place-maker; The Language of Environmental Justice; Future of Co-ops; Zoning, Land-use, & Affordable Housing; Neighborhoods & Sustainable Design; and Transportation Equity. Don't miss this opportunity to explore perspectives different from your own, and come away with renewed energy for conversation and collaboration! 

FREE TO ATTEND - Register here!

5 CM credits with APA IL

Get the latest Symposium news on Facebook 

Questions? Contact Hannah Bader at hbader4@uic.edu



11:15am - 3:15pm

UIC Student Center East Room 329

750 S Halsted St 

9th Annual Urban Innovation Symposium


4:30pm - 9:45pm

National Museum of Mexican Art

1852 W 19th St 


Day Session - UIC Student Center East

11:15 - 12:00pm Check-in and Food 

12:00 - 12:05pm Welcoming Remarks

12:05 - 12:45pm Opening Keynote 

  12:45 - 1:45pm Panel #1: Zoning, Land-Use & Affordable Housing

                              (Cardinal Room)

                              Deep Dive #1: Neighborhoods & Sustainable Design

                              (White Oak Room)

     1:45 -2:00pm Break

    2:00 - 3:00pm Panel #2: Claiming Spaces - The Role of Public Art as

                              Place-Maker (Cardinal Room)

                              Deep Dive #2: Transportation Equity (White Oak Room)



Evening Session - National Museum of Mexican Art

4:30 - 5:30pm Check-in and Food

5:30 - 5:45pm Evening Remarks 

5:45 - 6:45pm Panel #1: The Future of Co-ops

6:45 - 7:00pm Break

7:00 - 8:00pm Panel #2: The Language of Environmental Justice 

8:00 - 8:10pm Break

8:10 - 9:10pm Closing Keynote

9:10 - 9:45pm Networking


Day Session

Kevin Peralta
 Master of Ceremonies (MC)          
James Harris
Land Use Planner
Cook County 
 Panelist: Zoning                             
Angela Larsen
Community Planning Director
Alliance for the Great Lakes 
 Panelist: Zoning                             
Sydney VanKuren
Sustainable Urbanism Program Coordinator
Farr Associates 
 Presenter: Sustainable Design      
Chris Devins
Urban Planner/Artist
Chris Devins Creative 
 Panelist: Claiming Spaces             
Janet Smith
University of Illinois, Chicago 
 Moderator: Claiming Spaces         
Amara Enyia
Austin Chamber of Commerce
 Opening Keynote                           
Alden Loury
Senior Editor - Race, Class, Communities
 Panelist: Zoning                             
Phil Ashton
University of Illinois, Chicago
 Moderator: Zoning                         
Tonika Johnson
Photographer/ Visual Artist
Tonika Johnson Photography
 Panelist: Claiming Spaces             
Andy Bellomo
Street Glass Productions
 Panelist: Claiming Spaces             
Jim Merrell 
Advocacy Director
Active Transportation Alliance 
 Presenter: Transportation              

Evening Session

Gregory Berlowitz
Chicago Market - A Community Co-op
 Panelist: Co-ops                            
John McMicken
Evergreen Cooperative
 Panelist: Co-ops                            
Kim Wasserman
Executive Director
 Panelist: Environmental Justice    
Neringa Valkiunas
Stop Sterigenics Representative
 Panelist: Environmental Justice    
Dr. H. Peter Steeves
Director of Humanities Center
DePaul University
 Closing Keynote                            
Janette Robles
New Era Windows
 Panelist: Co-ops                            
Stacey Sutton
University of Illinois, Chicago
 Moderator: Co-ops                         
Naomi Davis
Blacks in Green
 Panelist: Environmental Justice    
Moira Zellner
University of Illinois, Chicago 
 Moderator: Environmental Justice 
Danielle Meijer
Adjunct Instructor, DePaul University
Artistic Director, Aleph World Fusion Dance
 Closing Keynote                            

A special thank you to our 2019 Urban Innovation Symposium Sponsors

Planned with the help of our 2019 Urban Innovation Symposium Committee

Andrew Brown, Symposium Co-Coordinator

Benito Garcia

Becky Lyons

Sandy Koo, Symposium Co-Coordinator

Alex Koerner

Jen Jenkins

Hannah Bader, Symposium Co-Coordinator

Janet Smith, Symposium Faculty Sponsor Hunter Gillaspie

2013 Symposium
2012 Symposium
2011 Symposium

UIC Urban Planning and Policy Student Association, 2018