On June 28, 2017, CREW Chicago hosted a panel discussion on The Changing Face of the Chicago River before a sold-out crowd at the East Bank Club. Panel participants included Eleanor Gorski, Assistant Commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development, Erin Lavin-Cabonargi, the Director of Development for Sterling Bay, Gary Stoltz, Principal/Director of Design and Construction at R2 Companies and Josh Ellis, Vice-President of the Metropolitan Planning Council. Dr. Winifred Curran, Associate Professor in Geography and Sustainable Urban Development at DePaul University, moderated the discussion.
The panelists discussed the draw that access to the Chicago River has become with the improvement in the quality of the Chicago River, the success of the River Walk in the downtown area and the new developments in Goose Island. The panel also discussed the challenges in developing the river area, the need to juggle the interests of the various stakeholders whether existing industrial companies that provide much needed jobs to the community or residents attracted by the recreational activities afforded by the river. And both the City of Chicago and the developers are keenly aware of the need to preserve the culture of the communities that adjoin the river. At best, one of the goals in the future development of the areas adjoining the river should be to bring people together and enhance the surrounding communities.
Click here to view more photos from the luncheon