BuiltWorlds Cities Conference Aug 24, 2017

Cities Conference

Date & Time

Thursday, August 24, 2017 at 7:30 am - 4:00 pm


UI Labs 1415 North Cherry Ave Chicago, IL 60642

How do we build (or rebuild) major cities in 2017?

Our 150-year-old infrastructure is crumbling around us (it was only built to last 75). Tens of millions of people moving back from suburbia to more urban areas. And with the advent of ecommerce, ride-sharing, and the ongoing digital revolution, it's clear that our cities cannot fulfill demand and our evolved human needs.

Consider this your personal invitation to an action-packed full-day conference with the world’s foremost experts on cities and infrastructure.

Meet Our Cities Experts (aka Our Speakers)

Peter Ellis
Founder, Peter Ellis New Cities

D. Bradford Hunt
Vice President for Research and Academic Programs, Newberry Library

Philip Enquist
FAIA, Partner in Charge of Urban Design and Planning, SOM

Drew Wensley
Owner, CEO, Moriyama & Teshima

Meiring Beyers, PhD
Director, Co-founder, Klimaat Consulting & Innovation Inc.

Karl Heitman
President, Heitman Architects Incorporated

David Leopold
Program Management, City Digital

Sam Sax
Chicago Public Building Commission, former owner of Exchange National Bank

Suzet McKinney
CEO/Executive Director, Illinois Medical District

David Wilts
Associate Principal, Arup

Audrey Wennink
Metropolitan Planning Council, Transportation Planning and Policy Director

Walker Thisted
Producer, BuiltWorlds

More speakers to be announced soon!

The City Case Studies

Our speakers won’t be presenting “pie-in-the-sky” ideas. Instead, they’ll show off real case studies from successful cities around the world, including projects in India, China, and Detroit, London, and more.


7:15 am – 7:50 am


Cities Breakfast is being catered by Fairgrounds Coffee (one of
Chicago’s hottest cafe-style restaurants).

7:50 am - 8:20 am

Speed Networking

Speed networking is our way of inserting fun into the sometimes awkward networking experience. You’ll learn the rules once you arrive!

8:20 am – 8:35 am

Opening Remarks with Peter Ellis

Moving beyond hypothetical ideas and into practical solutions with

Peter EllisEvent MC

8:35 am – 9:00 am

Solo Presentation – Framing the American City

Putting our current period of change into context - historically and globally.

9:05 am – 9:50 am

Panel – The Ecology of a City (featuring case studies from China, Detroit, and London)

What are the most crucial ingredients of a city in 2017? Featuring intriguing case studies from China, London, Detroit, and more.

9:50 am – 10:10 am


10:10 am – 10:45 am

Dialogue – Manufacturing, Supply Chains, and the
Future City

How and why industrial and manufacturing plants are officially
coming back to urban areas.

Karl Heitman
Moderator: Walker Thisted

10:50 am – 11:30 am

Panel – The Digital Master Plan: Union Point, A Case Study

The role that digital plans and data play in the design and
management of cities.

David Wilts
Moderator: Walker Thisted

11:35 am – 12:00 pm

Dialogue – Urban Mobility

Ride-sharing, the influx of the population back into cities, and the digital revolution are changing how we get from A to B.

Audrey Wennink
Moderator: Walker Thisted

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


1:00 pm – 1:20 pm

Dialogue – Urban Innovation Hubs: Center For Neighborhood

What are urban innovation hubs and what role do they play in the future of cities?

Moderator: Walker Thisted

1:25 pm – 2:05 pm

Panel – Urban Innovation Hubs: UI Labs and City Digital

Testing and experimentation: How City Digital is using their
innovation hub to improve buildings and other physical
infrastructure, water and sanitation, energy management, and

David Leopold
Moderator: Walker Thisted

2:05 pm – 2:15 pm


2:15 pm – 2:25 pm

Solo Presentation – Urban Lighting Systems

Examining the impact of Detroit’s $185-million street lighting overhaul. Was it worth it?

2:15 pm – 2:25 pm

Panel – Financing and Building The Next Generation of Cities

The unique challenges of funding a large scale city infrastructure project and how to overcome them.

Sam SaxDr. Suzet McKinney
Moderator: Walker Thisted

3:10 pm – 4:00 pm

Networking, Refreshments, and The City Project Gallery

Come for the networking, stay for the conference. This is your
chance to really get to know conference speakers and other major
BuiltWorlds community members.

Early bird pricing ends July 31st!

*Want to sponsor this event? Click here to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

**We have a limited number of press passes available. Submit a request for one if you’d like to cover this event

Can’t get enough Cities content?

From the beginning, BuiltWorlds has been on a quest to understand how cities and other organizations are leveraging technology and innovative thinking to build new urban areas that make life demonstrably better for that area’s inhabitants, in ways that are financially sound, environmentally sustainable, resilient and smart.

We’re exploring these ideas in the following places.

Project Innovation Video Series | Project Directory | Cities News

$120M Project to Redevelop the Chicago Riverwalk

How Do You Build an Elevated Train Station in Downtown Chicago Without Stopping Service?


UI Labs 1415 North Cherry Ave Chicago, IL 60642


Click here to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.