Cities Conference

Date & Time

7.19.2018 7:30AM - 5:00PM


Kasbeer Hall in Corboy Law Center at Loyola 25 E Pearson St Chicago, IL 60611

A full-day premium event that’s exploring the built world’s most “disrupt-able” market: Cities.

We’ve been hearing for years about the enormous infrastructure needs facing cities, that cities are “disrupt-able” and ripe for change. But what’s often left out of the conversation is how to capitalize on it.

The Cities Conference is a full-day premium event that will help you make sense of the crucial changes coming to our cities, including transit, waste, water, energy, buildings, and social infrastructure.

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Cities Experts (Aka Our Speakers)

More speakers to be announced!

Paul Doherty

President & CEO, The Digit Group

Elle Ramel

Director of Development, Farpoint Development

Tim Ozinga

Co-Owner & Marketing & Communications Director, Ozinga Bros., Inc.

Marquise Stillwell

Founder & Principal, Openbox

Michael Toolis

Vice President, Regional Business Leader, Buildings (US Central), Stantec

Chase Garbarino

Co-founder & CEO, HqO

Peter Cooper

Junior Associate, McKinsey & Company

Brian Braginton-Smith

Member, Aquagen Infrastructure Systems, Inc.

Vivek Mehra

Founder and CEO, ParqEx


Day 1 Schedule

7:15AM – 7:50AM


7:50AM – 8:20AM

Speed Networking

The difference between a typical industry event and a BuiltWorlds event? The quality of the people in the room. Speed networking is our way of connecting you with the other influencer’s in the room. We’ll show you the rules once you arrive!

8:20AM – 8:30AM

Opening Remarks

8:30AM – 9:00AM

A National City, Regional, and Infrastructure Plan

Many countries around the world have developed a national urban, regional, and rural plan that encompasses infrastructure, zoning, and general strategies for growth. During this discussion, we will look at some of the most effective plans that have been created and explore what the United States has failed to develop such a plan as well as the costs of not developing a plan. In doing so, we will consider some of the central adjustments that the US will have to make and how the US can create a strategy that will lead to a broader plan. This will involve asking about the central authority required for a plan as well as the need to balance state and federal concerns.

9:00AM – 9:30AM

Urban Planning

The profession of urban planning has gone through a number of iterations over the last century. During this panel we will explore how the profession is perceived, what it hopes to accomplish, as well as how established firms contribute to the profession. Over the course of the conversation, we will explore the transition from a more traditional often policy driven planning approach to a more design driven approach that incorporates ecological concerns in order to support sustainable and resilient cities. We will also ask how urban planning varies between countries as well as what remains in common.

9:30AM – 10:00AM

The Whole City

It is essential to understand how the various neighborhoods and systems within a city relate both spatially as well as politically, economically, racially, and culturally. In understanding this relationship, it is critical to evaluate what parts are functioning, how well the parts are working together, and what the criteria is for evaluating success. During this discussion, we will explore the relationship between iconic projects such as Millennium Park and the neighborhoods, how the municipal government sets a planning agenda, how priorities are set, how do services such as police, fire, and education relate to a planning agenda, how do we think about tax base, TIF, transit oriented development, special economic zones, and affordable housing as it relates to urban planning.

10:00AM – 10:15AM


10:15AM– 10:45AM


Unequal development between the urban cores and neighborhoods has become increasingly common over the last decade. During this conversation we will explore the social side of urban policy and planning. In particular, we will look at the role that race, socio-economics, economic development programs, and affordability and equitable development play in the design and construction of cities. In asking these questions, we will explore how different cities balance development of high-rent areas with lower rent areas, how they ensure that neighborhoods remain diverse and affordable, what is working in different cities around the country. At the same time, we will ask how planners deal with neighborhoods suffering severe blight.

10:45AM – 11:15AM

Real Estate Development and the City

Private developers have been playing an ever increasing role in the future of cities via projects that have taken on increasingly large scales. During this conversation, we will explore how projects such as Hudson Yards, Union Point, Lincoln Yards, and The 78 among other meg-projects are reshaping the landscape of cities and are also creating new opportunities to deploy urban tech. We will look at the technologies that are being incorporated, how developers are analyzing demand for specific programs, sizing buildings, deciding between condo and apartment, and how they are thinking about design and development in the context of the broader city.

11:15AM – 11:45PM

The Future of Mobility

Autonomous and electric cars will place new demands on the electric grid, create new demands for charging stations, and create new opportunities for developing the city in relation to a mobility strategy. This shift will have enormous consequences for how cities are planned in terms of where cars are parked and fueled. At the same time, transportation hubs will play a greater role in the broader mobility the equation. During this panel, we will explore the importance of investing in those hubs and ensuring that they can handle the capacity for a future that might rely less on cars.

11:45AM – 12:15PM

Breakout Session

12:15PM – 1:15PM


1:15PM – 1:45PM

Bridges, tunnels, rail, and road infrastructure

How do we maintain our aging infrastructure both within cities and between cities? How do we deal with funding shortfalls and ensure that money is allocated for a particular project goes to that project? What are new technologies – ranging from software to hardware such sensors capturing wear and use and new materials – being used to design these infrastructures. During this panel we will explore these question through some examples of innovative new infrastructure that is replacing existing infrastructure.

1:45PM – 2:15PM

Energy Behind The City

Cities are perhaps the biggest users of energy. As a result, they present unique opportunities to support broader sustainability through adopting renewable sources of energy, increasing the energy performance of buildings, supporting locally sourced products, and developing transportation infrastructure that reduces emissions. During this discussion, we will explore how ComEd has piloted a new program in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago to introduce a microgrid and provide electric public transportation services.

2:15PM– 2:30PM

Break and Networking

2:30PM – 3:00PM

Government and Finance

Publicly funded projects are often complicated by government funding programs, are subject to political motivations, and require a strong tax base. During this conversation we will explore the extent to which the government – both local and federal – can be an effective development partner. We will look at the variations across the different municipalities and between the US and cities around the world. In doing so, we will consider how government agencies can more effectively allocate funds and partner with private developers to better serve their citizens.

3:00PM – 3:30PM

The City in the Region and World

The world has become increasingly interconnected over the last several centuries. As a result, it is increasingly important to understand how different cities and regions around the world affect one another as well as how cities can learn from one another. During this panel, we will explore the ways in which collaboration can help cities address major ecological and social challenges in order to be more profitable, attractive, and resilient.

3:30PM– 4:30PM

Networking Reception

Kasbeer Hall in Corboy Law Center at Loyola 25 E Pearson St Chicago IL 60611

About BuiltWorlds Events


What’s included in the ticket price?
– Access to all speaker sessions at the conference
– Continental breakfast, lunch, and all-day refreshments
– Access to Speed Networking and post-conference Speaker Meet and Greet
– Access to available white papers, speaker presentations (per speaker consent) and event attendee portal.

Can I buy a ticket to just the networking sessions?
Networking session tickets are not available. If you want to connect with industry executives, thought leaders, and other major decision makers, plan to come the full day!

Are meals provided?
Yes! We provide you with breakfast and lunch, as well as refreshments, which are available all day. Please note that the conference ends at 5pm and that dinner is not included.

What is the refund policy?
Due to the limited ticket availability, there is no refund on ticket purchases.

Which airport should I fly into?
O’Hare and Midway are both great options. Please contact our Events Manager, Kristin Carey, for any logistics questions.

Where can I get more questions answered?
We’re happy to help you – contact for all Buildings 2.0 related questions.