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Talking the Walk: The Importance of Pedestrian Friendly Public Spaces

Cities around the world are recognizing that safe, well-used public spaces are just as important to healthy communities as quality housing and reliable transportation. To remain a globally competitive city, Chicago must continue to support and enhance all of its public areas. It's clear the city values its parks and plazas, but streets and sidewalks are often overlooked as incredibly valuable public spaces.

Learn how cities around the world are promoting walkable, safe streets; what Chicago is doing to plan for and design quality streetscapes; and how pedestrians are leading the way to a brighter future.

Panel members:

Sam Schwartz is President, Chief Executive Officer & Founder of Sam Schwartz Engineering in New York.

Mr. Schwartz is one of the leading transportation engineers in the country. Before founding Sam Schwartz Engineering, he served as traffic commissioner for New York City. Credited with coining the term “gridlock,” Mr. Schwartz is popularly known as “Gridlock Sam” for his weekly column of the same name in New York's Daily News.

Mike Toolis is Chairman and CEO of VOA Associates Incorporated and Committee member of the Metropolitan Planning Council.

Mr. Toolis has designed commercial, educational and residential spaces around the world. He is a member of MPC's Sensible Growth Committee.

John Tolva is Director of Citizenship & Technology for IBM Corporation.

At IBM, Mr. Tolva is responsible for developing social, educational, environmental and cultural projects with nonprofits, institutions and government agencies. He maintains Ascent Stage, a personal web site.

Thanks to Sam Schwartz Engineering for sponsoring this event.



Recorded Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at Metropolitan Planning Council Conference Center.

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