As part of the We Will Chicago engagement efforts, Metropolitan Planning Council and Chicago Council on Global Affairs hosted the Global Voices, Local Action webinar series.

The seven-part series featured a panel of local and international leaders discussing pillars within the We Will Chicago citywide draft framework plan highlighting the innovation and successes happening internationally. 
Due to technical issues, a recording of the Environment, Climate & Energy pillar is not available.

Arts & Culture

Art has the potential to build stronger, more vibrant communities. As critical factors in helping make a neighborhood a place, art and culture can transform communities, contribute to economic development, build relationships, and provide programs and services that create stronger urban environments. The impact of art is undeniable, making an investment in art and culture vital to advance Chicago as a city where creative residents and businesses thrive.

Join the Arts Alliance Illinois as we explore international models that advance the goal of supporting and growing artistic work.

Speakers include:

  • Commissioner Erin Harkey, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, City of Chicago
  • Amanda Carlson, Senior Strategist, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, City of Chicago
  • Laia Gasch, Senior Advisor of Culture and Creative Industries, Mayor of London, United Kingdom
  • Director of Partnerships at World Cities Culture Forum Claire Rice, Executive Director, Arts Alliance Illinois

Economic Development

Chicago’s economy is one of the most diverse in the country, with a broad range of businesses, retail, education, and industrial employment. This diversity provides resilience even when portions of the economy are negatively impacted by local, national, or global trends. Through policies and actions, the aim is to support a vibrant economy to reduce the negative environmental effects of businesses, while providing support for companies that are located in and employ residents of underserved neighborhoods. This will result in a wealthier, more equitable economy for all Chicago residents and workers.

Join the Chicago Council on Global Affairs as we explore international models that advance the goal of equitable economic development.

Speakers include:

  • Michael Fassnacht, President & CEO, World Business Chicago & Chief Marketing Officer for the City of Chicago
  • Nina Idemudia, AICP, Director of the Chicago Recovery Plan, City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development
  • Julia Jaeger, International Investor Support, Wirtschaftsförderung Dortmund
  • Jose R. Rodriguez, Director, Community Capital, Robert R. McCormick Foundation
  • Juan Sebastian Arias, Deputy Director of Policy, City of Chicago Office of the Mayor

Housing & Neighborhoods

For all Chicagoans, having a safe and affordable place to live is critical. Your home and neighborhood offer not only shelter, but also the opportunity to lead a healthy and enjoyable life. The overall wellbeing of residents and the entire city depends on the presence of thriving communities anchored by housing. Stable and affordable housing must be located in areas that have accessible options for transportation, places to shop, open spaces for recreation and leisure, as well as venues for entertainment.

Join the Metropolitan Planning Council as we explore international models that advance the goal of stable, affordable, and well-connected housing for all. 

Speakers include:

  • Commissioner Marisa Novara, Department of Housing, Chicago
  • Emmanuel Grégoire, First Deputy Mayor for Urban Planning, Paris
  • Desislava Ivanovo, Dupnitsa

Lifelong Learning

Learning goes beyond grammar school, high school, college and postgraduate work. It is an ageless endeavor that occurs in many shapes, forms and locations that are both formal and informal. Learning never stops for anyone who seeks self-improvement for themselves and their communities.

Pre- and post-school residents should have similar opportunities to improve themselves as enrolled students. Improvements and adaptations of Chicago’s educational resources are essential to creating a viable workforce for today and tomorrow.

Join Loyola University School of Education as we explore international models that advance the goal of supporting and broadening avenues for lifelong learning. 

Speakers include:

  • Chancellor Juan Salgado, City Colleges of Chicago
  • Dr. Markeda Newell, Interim Dean, School of Education, Loyola University Chicago
  • Juan Sebastian Arias, Deputy Director of Policy, Chicago Mayor's Office
  • Tomas Gulbinas, Deputy Mayor, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Jon Schmidt, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Education, Loyola University Chicago

Public Health & Safety

Public health and safety is about more than physical well-being. Health is determined by social and economic factors, the environment people live in, personal behaviors, as well as health care quality and access. Individuals and neighborhoods are also unevenly exposed to violence due to multiple factors that can occur in an instant or over many years. Chicagoans need access to resources, environments, and opportunities that promote optimal health and well-being. Public health and safety policies should be more responsive and proactive so that residents and neighborhoods are fairly and consistently protected and cared for during times of both wellbeing and crisis.

Join the Metropolitan Planning Council as we explore international models that advance the goal of creating healthy cities that work for everyone. 

Presenters include:

  • Kate McMahon, MPH, Director, Health Equity in All Policies, Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago
  • Amanda O’Rourke, Executive Director, 880 cities, Toronto
  • Tommi Laitio, Bloomberg Public Innovation Fellow, Helsinki, invited
  • Tiffany McDowell, Equity Institute Director, YWCA

Transportation & Infrastructure

Chicago is one of the most connected cities in the nation, from our transportation infrastructure to our broadband connectivity. Rail lines, bus lines, streets, highways, alleys, airports, freight yards, waterways, bike lanes, sidewalks, trails, power grids, communication networks, and other public and private assets all contribute to help move people, goods, and information throughout the city. Transportation is a particularly critical resource providing access to jobs, schools, health care facilities, parks and other amenities that are vital to residents’ daily lives. The City’s infrastructure assets should be equitably planned, maintained, and upgraded to further enhance mobility and service delivery, as well as ensure that resident needs are being met in all communities.

Join the Metropolitan Planning Council as we explore international models that advance the goal of creating transportation and infrastructure systems that accessible to everyone.

Speakers include:

  • Commissioner Gia Biagi, Department of Transportation, City of Chicago
  • Javier Matilla Ayala, Manager of Urban Architecture, Office of the Chief Architect, Barcelona City Council
  • Audrey Wennink, Director of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Council