Planners Training

Winter 2013
Portland •  Austin
Sustainability is a big topic, and APA's Planners Training Service has it covered. Whether you're adding "green" to the mix of your community's zoning regulations or retooling your codes to shape urban design, you'll find information and inspiration at PTS.
Sustainable Development Through Form-Based Codes
February 19, 2013 • Portland, Oregon •  CM | 7.0
Are form-based codes a good fit for your community? Discover how form-based zoning can shape the design of structures and streets, nodes and neighborhoods, corridors and cities. Come to this new one-day PTS workshop for hands-on practice creating key elements of a form-based ordinance. You'll see how form-based zoning can help you frame your community's vision, retain its character, and attain a more sustainable future.

You'll learn about:
Choosing a format and key components for your community's code
Creating a strong vision statement and visually compelling plans
Setting clear standards for building, street, and landscape designs
Developing workable regulations to implement plans effectively
Establishing measurable objectives for sustainable development
>  Sign up today!

About the Presenter
Mark L. Gillem, AICP, is principal of the Urban Collaborative and teaches architecture and urban design at the University of Oregon. Currently, his firm is studying whether converting one of Eugene's arterial roads into a multiway boulevard could create mixed use and infill development in the area.

Cosponsored by APA Oregon Chapter
Sustainable Zoning and Development Controls
February 28–March 1, 2013 • Austin •  CM | 14.0 | Law
Sustainability is sweeping the country, and local governments are leading the way. Sign up for this popular two-day PTS workshop and get a jump on sustainable land-use plans, zoning codes, subdivision regulations, and construction codes. Two land-use lawyers and a planner will share proven strategies, a new model code, and a roadmap for rolling out sustainable zoning in your community.

You'll learn about:
Measuring the costs and benefits of adopting a sustainable code
Assessing recent case law, legislation, and administrative actions
Removing barriers, creating incentives, and filling regulatory gaps
Adapting to climate change and adopting alternative energy sources
Promoting housing diversity, urban agriculture, and community health
>  Register now!

About the Presenters
"Sustainable Zoning and Development Controls" brings together some of the top experts in the field: lawyers Chris Duerksen and Craig Richardson of Clarion Associates and past APA President Jim Duncan, FAICP, a prominent planning professional. They've made this one of the most popular PTS workshops. Find out why!
Registration & Reservations
Sustainable Development Through Form-Based Codes

APA members$295
Student members$100
Each additional$150
Bring the team and save!

> Register by February 12
Sustainable Zoning and Development Controls

AICP members$485$415
APA members$535$465
Student members $150
>Register by January 31 for reduced rates
Earn CM While You Learn
AICP members earn 7 CM credits for one-day workshops and 14 CM credits for two-day workshops. "Sustainable Zoning and Development Controls" meets the CM law requirement. Partial credit is not available. These workshops will not be available on CD-ROM or streaming media.
Registration Questions?
Contact us atconfregistration@planning.org
American Planning Association



With a particular emphasis on the Rust Belt of the American Midwest, SynergiCity argues that cities such as Detroit, St. Louis, and Peoria must redefine themselves to be globally competitive. This revitalization is possible through environmentally and economically sustainable restoration of industrial areas and warehouse districts for commercial, research, light industrial, and residential uses. The volume's expert researchers, urban planners, and architects draw on the redevelopment successes of other major cities--such as the American Tobacco District in Durham, North Carolina, and the Milwaukee River Greenway--to set guidelines and goals for reinventing and revitalizing the postindustrial landscape.

Contributors are Paul J. Armstrong, Donald K. Carter, Lynne M. Dearborn, Norman W. Garrick, Mark L. Gillem, Robert Greenstreet, Craig Harlan Hullinger, Paul Hardin Kapp, Ray Lees, Emil Malizia, John O. Norquist, Christine Scott Thomson, and James H. Wasley.

"Instead of handing over neighborhoods to city hall or private developers, this book shows that the solution to many cities' plights lies within them. Empowering residents to take control of and build on community assets, engaging them in community-based organizations that can spearhead revitalization and build real quality of place, yields real results. To the extent that they adopt a holistic approach to planning and build on a city's intrinsic strengths, they can accomplish miracles."--from the foreword by Richard Florida
Hardcover $60.00 Buy Now

* Full Disclosure - Ray Lees and I wrote a chapter.


Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s

“Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”? In many European countries, religion comes at a price: If you want the services of a religious community — for marriages, burial, and other activities — you pay a tax.  (In Germany, for example, there is an 8 percent surcharge on your income tax bill.) A very nice Finnish study by Teemu Lyytikäinen and Torsten Santavirta, “The Effect of Church Tax on Church Membership” (Journal of Population Economics, forthcoming), uses this institution to examine the demand curve for religion. 



High Speed Rail in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider and Amtrak officials today announced that 110 mph rail service has started on a 15-mile segment along the Chicago-St. Louis corridor just in time for the heavily traveled Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Today's announcement represents a historic step towards the establishment of a high-speed rail network in Illinois, one of Governor Quinn's key priorities as he works to modernize the state's infrastructure.

"This next generation rail system gives passengers a safer, more reliable way to travel across Illinois and connect with family this holiday season," Governor Quinn said. "Today's announcement demonstrates significant progress on this major transportation initiative that will continue to boost Illinois' economy and make sure our state has the best rail system in the nation."

Starting today, Amtrak Lincoln Service trains will operate at a maximum speed of 110 mph between Dwight and Pontiac.  These include northbound Trains 300, 302, 304, and southbound Trains 301, 305, and 307.  Other Amtrak trains on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor will continue to operate at 79 mph top speeds, including the Texas Eagle (trains 21/321/421 and 22/322/422).

"Governor Quinn's leadership and guidance on implementing high-speed rail service has been instrumental in moving this major infrastructure project forward," Secretary Schneider said. "We are extremely proud to introduce 110 mile per hour rail service to Illinois Amtrak passengers for the very first time, and look forward to continual progress in bringing enhanced services to riders along the corridor."

In addition, select Amtrak Lincoln Service trains will have also free AmtrakConnect(TM) Wi-Fi service throughout the coaches, business class seating and in the cafes.  Passengers are advised to look for the Illinois High-Speed Rail logo and AmtrakConnect posters on Trains 300, 301, 304, and 305.

"Regular operations at 110 mph for six daily Amtrak Lincoln Service trains are a major milestone in the development of our Chicago Hub network," said Amtrak President & CEO Joe Boardman. "Combined with our high-speed trains in Michigan, this means Amtrak now has a total of 14 daily trains to and from Chicago that operate at 110 mph."

The 15-mile segment showcases major infrastructure improvements, state-of-the-art signaling, and significant technological and safety advancements. The 110 mph service is projected to be in place along nearly 75 percent of the Chicago-St. Louis corridor by 2015, reducing travel time by more than an hour.

As the transportation hub of the Midwest, Illinois is a national leader in passenger rail expansion. Total ridership on Amtrak's four Illinois routes has grown nearly 75 percent over the past six years, rising to more than 2.1 million passengers last year. Ridership on today's Chicago-St. Louis Lincoln Service alone has doubled in that time period. When completed, trains traveling from Chicago to St. Louis will reach top speeds matching those of trains now traveling between Chicago and Detroit, the fastest passenger trains in North America outside of the East Coast.

Today's announcement follows the recent awarding of a $352 million multi-state procurement contract to design, build and deliver 130 bi-level passenger railcars for use in California and the Midwest, including the Chicago to St. Louis corridor. The contract will now allow Rochelle, Illinois-based vendor Nippon-Sharyo/Sumitomo Corporation of America to move forward as the builder of the railcars, the first of which are slated for delivery in fall 2015.

To follow progress, updates and completed improvements along the signature Chicago-St. Louis high-speed rail corridor, please visit www.idothsr.org


House in the Road

Amazing photo. It seems a homeowner would not sell his home so the government built the new road around him.

A car stops beside a house in the middle of a newly built road in Wenling, Zhejiang province, November 22, 2012. An elderly couple refused to sign an agreement to allow their house to be demolished. They say that compensation offered is not enough to cover rebuilding costs, according to local media. (Reuters/China Daily)

A homeowner looks down from his house which stands alone in the middle of a newly built road in Wenling, Zhejiang province, on November 22, 2012. (Reuters/China Daily) #

And this happened in Communist China where I thought the government would roll over a citizen.  The times they are a changin.

Click to Read the Article


Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you all a Hearty and Happy Thanksgiving this year!

Happy Thanksgiving 



Cool Idea Category:  In recent years, a number of communities have begun experimenting with “parklets” – temporarily turning the asphalt of parking spaces into small, on-the-street spots of greenery and seating – to enliven the streetscape experience and provide more outdoor seating for restaurants and cafes. The New Partners conference will showcase five parklet model experiences inside the Kansas City Convention Center, to demonstrate for participants what a parklet is, and how it can transform a couple of under-utilized parking spaces into exciting opportunities for creating more vibrant (parking) spaces in your community.  What is a Parklet?  A parklet is a small urban park, often created by replacing several under-utilized parallel parking spots with a patio, planters, trees, benches, café tables with chairs, fountain(s), artwork, sculptures and/or bicycle parking.  Parklets are designed to provide a public place for citizens to relax and enjoy the atmosphere of the city around them, in places where either current urban parks are lacking or if the existing sidewalk width is not large enough to accommodate vibrant street life activities. Parklets can be designed to be either permanent fixtures, or can be designed to be temporary/seasonal in places where snow removal is a concern.


 Thanks to Anne Hullinger for sharing.


Free The Hawk

A Red Tailed Hawk is released to the wild in Ohio by Gene Wright.

The hawk is released! It was rehabilitated at Back to the Wild in Castalia, Ohio.



A new book on redeveloping older cities. I think it is great - but then I helped write a chapter with Ray Lees, Chairman of the Peoria Planning Commission.

Click below for more information.





Professor Efraim Gil

Efraim Gil was an outstanding man, city planner and professor.  We knew him for many years while he taught Environmental and City Planning at Governors State University in the southern suburbs of Chicago. He was a dedicated and effective community leader. He was very well informed and always gave back to the community.

Efraim also served as a City Planning Consultant, assisting numerous communities in their planning efforts. He wrote Comprehensive Plans and Zoning Ordinances for a number of communities, including Kankakee City and Kankakee County.

Dr. Gil received his B.A. in Political Science from San Jose State University, his masters in community planning from the University of Cincinnati and his doctorate in public administration from the University of Illinois. He was a professor at Governors State University in Illinois for 30 years. Dr. Gil was a life-long proponent of "communities of loving care" believing that people of all faiths could learn to live together in a way that supported each other and protected planet Earth.

Efraim had an incredible life story. He was born in the old Soviet Union in the Ukraine under Stalin and the Communists.  Not an easy life for a young child.

When he was a young boy the Nazi's invaded and conquered Chernovitz, where he lived.  His Father had already left with the Russian Army to fight the Nazis.  The Nazis rounded up all the Jews from his neighborhood, and Efraim, his Mother and his 6 month old brother were transported by cattle car, barge, and forced march.  They were interred, along with 250,000 other Jewish prisoners in a Jewish Village to the north, Jurin, which was enclosed with barbed wire and became a prison camp. Efraim talked of hardship, hunger and fear. But he also talked about Ukranian people who brought food to the residents, slipping it through the barbed wire into the camp.

Four years later word came that the Soviets were reconquering the area, but that the Nazis were killing the Jews in the camps as they retreated. The Rumanian and Nazi guards had run, and in the resulting chaos Efraim, his Mother, and Brother along with many other Jews cut the barbed wire and ran into the woods.  Efraim was separated from his Mother and wandered in the woods for several days.  Eventually, they were reunited and returned to Jurin which was now free of Nazis.

When the Soviets reconquered the area the residents wanted to kill the Nazi prison guards. But the Rabbi said no - we are not like that. The Communist soldiers quickly shot the Nazi guards and ended that situation.

Efraim's father died during the war. His mother decided to send Efraim with a youth group traveling to what was then Jewish Palestine.  Efraim traveled by train across Europe with this group. Each border crossing took a different strategy, sometimes claiming to be a citizen of the next country.  Efraim arrived in Holland with his group, and then went on to Israel.  In Israel he lived in Kibbutz Kfar Glickson.  As an adult, he joined the Israeli Navy and fought in the Suex Canal campaign.

scape the Soviet Union, taking Efraim and his younger brother with her.  At each country border she would claim to be a citizen of the next country heading east to freedom.

Efraim’s Mother had planned to follow him to Israel within six months with his Brother.  However, the Soviets closed the borders and Efraim did not see her for 22 years.

After the Navy, Efraim wanted to go to school in America but could not get a Visa.  He was permitted to go to Cuba to begin college. He was in school when the Communists began their take over in Cuba. He talked of hearing gunfire while in the classroom. He finally made it to America and finished college.

Efraim became a City Planner and worked for ASPO (The American Society of Planning Officials). He researched and wrote numerous articles about city planning.

He took his wife and family back to Israel where he served as the County Engineer for Jerusalem County.  As a citizen of Israel he was also a member of the Army Reserve. He served in the Israeli Army in the North during the war.

He was reunited with his mother and brother who immigrated from the Soviet Union to Israel. He told a humorous story- his mother had forbidden him to speak Yiddish.  But he had learned the language from his Grandparents who had sworn him to secrecy, and  he never told his Mother.   She was was not really surprised but said “I knew it” with a some frustration.

Efraim spoke numerous languages.  He spoke German, Russian, Yiddish, Spanish, English, and Hebrew.

Returning to the United States he became a Professor at Governors State University in the College of Environmental Science.  Efraim also formed a consulting firm with his wife Enid Lucchesi Gil. They worked on numerous city planning consulting projects in the Chicago metropolitan region.

Efraim was very proud of his childen, Naomi Abramovitz (Samuel) and Daniel Shimon Gil (Shoshannah Fineberg).  He told us that he and his wife had the perfect Jewish family - his son was studying to be a Rabbi and Jewish folk song musician, and his daughter became an attorney, and she married a Doctor.  

Efraim was a voice of moderation and tolerance.  He would summarize our sometimes rancorous national political elections. He was fond of saying that at the end of the day our choice was not between a Nazi and a Communist, it was between a Republican and a Democrat, two good

Efraim was a quality individual and a leader and teacher in urban and environmental planning. He contributed to our society and country. We miss him.


Efraim Gil

September 18, 1934 to April 13, 2007. Efraim Zvi Gil born in
Chernovitz, Ukraine was a Holocaust survivor.

Dr. Gil received his B.A. in Political Science from San Jose State University, his masters in community planning from the University of Cincinnati and his doctorate in public administration from the University of Illinois. He was a professor at Governors State University in Illinois for 30 years. Dr. Gil was a life-long proponent of "communities of loving care" believing that people of all faiths could learn to live together in a way that supported each other and protected planet Earth.

He retired to Boca Raton, Florida in 2004 and was a member of the Carlebach Minyan at the Boca Raton Synagogue. Dr. Gil is survived by his wife Enid; his children Naomi Abramovitz (Samuel) and Daniel Shimon Gil (Shoshannah Fineberg); his sister Shoshannah Kahane and brother Rafi Schauer; his grandchildren Claire, Cohavit, Max, Tsipora, Nehama and Ruth; as well as a host of friends throughout the world who loved him and his vision. He will be greatly missed.

Invision Studios

Invision produces some great urban simulation videos. Check out their web site. 


$50 Million Embezzled from Small City

A small U.S. town stunned by accusations that its longtime bookkeeper embezzled more than $50 million will hear her admit it in court Wednesday, according to federal prosecutors.

Lessons Learned

Conduct Good Audits annually, and change your auditor frequently.

If the people who write the checks for your organization are living lavishly, check it out.

Elect better people who will pay attention.



CEO's For Cities

BannerIn this Issue: Place Capital: Re-connecting Economy With Community • Detroit's Plan to Create a Talented Community • Carlo Ratti on Networks and Place • What We're Reading • Announcement: Summit on the New American City

Place Capital: Re-connecting Economy With Community

This article on Project for Public Spaces discusses the idea of Place Capital, and how it can be leveraged to bridge political divides and connect community with economics in meaningful and pragmatic ways.

Detroit's Plan to Create a Talented Community

The Director of our National Talent Dividend, Noël Harmon, coauthored an article on the Huffington Post this past week highlighting some of the incredible efforts underway in Detroit to attract and retain talent in the city-- and we wanted to highlight the 15x15 Initiative and a couple other great programs once more. Originated by the Hudson-Webber Foundation, 15x15 aims to attract 15,000 young, talented households to Greater Downtown Detroit by 2015. This initiative involves a wide variety of components-- involving focus on physical revitalization, economic development, arts, safety, and the Live Midtown program. Live Midtown and Live Detroit (a program of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit administered by CommunityNEXT) are both innovative residential programs representing collaborations with a wide host of partners which provide incentives for purchasing or renting homes in the greater Downtown Detroit neighborhood. The Hudston-Webber foundation has also partnered with Downtown Detroit Partnership to create D:hive as part of the 15x15 Initiative-- a unique, 3-year initiative assisting existing and new Detroiters to Live, Work and Engage in Detroit. We applaud the success of these wonderful organizations, and urge you all to check out their incredible work by clicking the logos above!

Carlo Ratti on Networks and Place

For those of you who missed our Fall National Meeting in Boston (or just loved the presentation), we've posted the talk given by Carlo Ratti, director of the MIT SENSEability Lab, on city networks and how they affect the ways in which we experience space in our communities. View it by clicking here or on the image above!

What We're Reading

We wanted to share some of the articles we're reading that highlight creativity and the economy:

Announcement: Summit on the New American City

If you think America's cities matter to the U.S. economy, then you should join the Summit on The New American City on Dec 3rd and 4th in Kansas City. Organized in partnership with Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James, the event will address how to build - and re-build - America's cities as engine of the American economy. Lee Fisher, President and CEO of CEOs for Cities, will be a featured speaker at the Summit.
The conference agenda has just been released. View it here.
You can see that the country's top business, political and community leaders are coming to Kansas City to get on with the business of American city building. The Summit will establish a national city building agenda right after the election. Join us to make it happen.
Register today at: cityage.org, or email CityAge at info@cityage.org.

CEOs for Cities
Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago, 1155 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 -             773.795.1409      


Sustainable Chicago

Sustainable Chicago
Sustainable Chicago 2012 Winter Edition Special Promotion!
Are you trying to reach sustainably-minded clients?Sustainable Chicago magazine features the latest in green design and development in Chicagoland. This quarterly e-zine is 100% complimentary and reaches broadly across the real estate and related communities, including architects, brokers, contractors, developers, engineers, government officials, attorneys, building owners and more, with a distribution of over 40,000.
Purchase an ad in our Winter edition and receive the following:
Law Bulletin Publishing Corporation
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Have you ever read a story with no words?

 Have you ever read a story with no words?























What a great love story! for both of them!