Committee on Design

Updated April 14, 2021

The Committee on Design is an informal advisory committee currently under formation by the Department of Planning and Development (DPD). The committee will advise Commissioner Maurice Cox and DPD staff on design excellence for major development projects and urban design initiatives.

Announced in March 2021, the committee will review projects in advance of their formal zoning applications to City Council, which triggers more formal review and approval processes. The projects that will be subject to committee review include:

  • Master Planned Developments (20+ acres/4,000+ units)
  • Supertall high-rises (984+ feet)
  • Projects that utilize City resources, such as Tax Increment Financing
  • Projects located adjacent to landmarks or landmark districts

The committee's recommendations will serve as advisory, non-binding guidance to DPD staff. Committee meetings will be open to the public and offer opportunities for testimony.

The committee will consist of up to 15 individuals, and will aim to include residents from all seven planning regions. Up to three members of the Chicago Plan Commission may serve on the committee.


Applications for the volunteer Committee on Design are now open. Applicants must demonstrate a track record of peer reviewed design excellence in at least one of the following fields:

  • Architecture
  • Community development
  • Engineering
  • Fine art
  • Landscape architecture
  • Preservation
  • Public art
  • Urban design
  • Urban planning

Interested professionals should submit the application form, along with a CV and any select, peer reviewed projects to The application period has been extended, applications will now be accepted through April 30, 2021. All materials will be reviewed by DPD staff and members will be appointed by Commissioner Cox. Committee members and the first meeting date will be announced in spring 2021.

Supporting Information Facts