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Cities Conference


7.19.2018 7:30AM - 5:00PM


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

The Event Exploring the Built World’s Most “Disrupt-able” Market: Cities and Infrastructure.

Cities is a full-day premium event featuring 20+ world-class “Cities and Infrastructure” experts that will help you make sense of the crucial changes coming to our cities, including transit, waste, water, energy, buildings, and social infrastructure.

We’re showing off real case studies from smart cities and new sustainable developments including the world’s first underground park in NYC, Nashville’s Autonomous Public Transportation System, Chicago’s Riverwalk and Burnham Lakefront, Detroit’s Neighborhood Revitalization Projects, China’s Qingdao and more.

20+ cities experts. 3 hours of built-in networking. One small-group BW Insights #SmartCities Workshop. And more.

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Meet Our Cities Experts (Aka Our Speakers)

More speakers to be announced!

Paul Doherty

President & CEO, The Digit Group

Elle Ramel

Director of Development, Farpoint Development

Marquise Stillwell

Founder & Principal, Openbox

Lynn Osmond

President & CEO, Chicago Architecture Foundation

Tim Ozinga

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

Vivek Mehra

Founder and CEO, ParqEx

Audrey Wennink

Director, Metropolitan Planning Council

Donna J. Pugh

Partner, Foley & Lardner

Jake Chidester

Director of Design, Bedrock Real Estate Services

Chris Foreman

CEO, Marketplace.city

Patrick Beal

CEO, Detroit Training Center

Alex Samoylovich

Co-Founder & Managing Partner, CEDARst Companies

Mike Rafferty

Vice President of Small Business Services, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation

Mehdi Jalayerian

Managing Director/Chief of Innovation, Environmental Systems Desgin

Lisa Diaz

Founder & Managing Partner, Turf Advisory

Steve Frenkel

Executive Director, Current

Benet Haller

Transit Manager, Cook County, Department of Transportation and Highways

Sara Chamberlain

Managing Director, Energy Foundry

Jerry Quandt

Executive Director, Illinois Autonomous Vehicles Association (ILAVA)

Sharon Feigon

Executive Director, Shared-Use Mobility Center


Day 1 Schedule

8:00 am — 8:30 am


8:30 am — 9:00 am


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.

9:00 am — 9:05 am

Opening Remarks

Matt Gray, Co-Founder, BuiltWorlds

9:10 am — 9:40 am

“The Lowline Underground Park”

Keynote: Marquise Stillwell, Founder and Principal, OpenBox

Marquise Stillwell, the founder and principal of Openbox, created a company that represents a culmination of more than 20 years of experience in designing and implementing fresh models for businesses and cultural organizations. As a board member of the Lowline Underground Park, Stillwell shares years of experience in business design work, design research and innovation; furthering the human-center vision of Openbox to improve lives in the communities it serves.

9:45 am — 10:40 am

Revitalizing Detroit’s Neighborhoods

Jake Chidester, Director of Design, Bedrock Detroit - Mike Rafferty, Vice President of Small Business Development, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation - Patrick Beal, Detroit Training Center, Detroit - Moderator: Donna Pugh, Partner, Foley & Lardner

Three years after exiting bankruptcy, Detroit continues to shed it’s image of a city in decline. Innovative programs like the “Blight Removal Program” (Detroit Training Center) and DEGC’s Small Business Programming are revitalizing neighborhoods. Now, Detroit is leading the way in smart city infrastructure in many ways. Most recently, as the first city in America to deploy independent self-driving vehicles in an urban core on public roads. Learn from key players at the center of the Motor City’s transformation in an informative session moderated by real estate business lawyer and author, recognized as one of “The Best Lawyers in America©” since 2011, Donna Pugh of Foley & Lardner.

10:45 am — 10:55 am


10:55 am — 11:25 am

“Solutions to America’s Infrastructure Quagmire”

Keynote: Lisa Diaz, Partner & Founder, Turf Advisory

As Managing Partner and Founder of Turf Advisory, Lisa Diaz brings her expertise in urban innovation to the BuiltWorlds Cities stage; providing strategic and tactical advice on designing, financing and managing next-generation global infrastructure and entrepreneurs. Diaz raises capital for smart infrastructure investment opportunities, urban tech companies and asset managers from institutional investors, family offices, angel investors, venture capitalists and incubators. Speaking to funding Smart Cities is nothing new to Diaz. A former Managing Director at Goldman Sachs & Co. and current Senior Advisor to the Global Futures Group, she often shares her insight on technology-powered solutions while serving as a member of the Smart Cities NY Advisory Board and The Women in Housing and Finance. Presenting “Solutions to America’s Infrastructure Quagmire” Diaz highlights innovative ways to unleash private capital infrastructure investment and shares solutions to rebuilding America’s Infrastructure.

11:30 am — 12:15 pm

City Infrastructure

Audrey Wennink, Director, Metropolitan Planning Council - Tim Ozinga, Co-Founder, Ozinga - Benet Haller, Transit Manager, Cook County Government Elle Ramel, Director of Development, Farpoint - Moderator: Lynn Osmond, President/CEO, Chicago Architecture Foundation

More than a century after the reversal of the Chicago River, the City’s “second coast” remains at the center of civil engineering innovation. In recent years, the completion of the Chicago Riverwalk has brought people to the river’s main branch in the heart of the city. The river remains a main attraction, but also serves as a working river. Ozinga’s barges and transload services move tons of materials through eight river-based terminals. Learn from the co-owner of the largest CNG concrete mixer fleets in the nation on how the company is removing thousands of trucks from their projects; alleviating congestion, reducing carbon emissions, and easing wear and tear on roadways. The Metropolitan Planning Council is leading the “Our Great Rivers” vision and is now tackling failing transportation infrastructure. Hear how MPC is rethinking roads, railways, bridges, and tunnels by advocating for sustainable transportation funding for future projects such as; Farpoint Development’s mixed-use district on Chicago’s lakefront, Burnham Lakefront. Farpoint’s Director of Development explains the use of new landscaped bridges, improvements to existing rail stations, and how to utilize untapped renewable energy. During this session, panelists explore how to maintain aging infrastructure and navigate funding shortfalls using innovative solutions of the next smart city.

12:20 pm — 1:15 pm


1:20 pm — 1:50 pm

“Nashville and Qingdao Projects”

Keynote: Paul Doherty, CEO, The Digit Group

1:55 pm — 2:25 pm

Smart Cities Workshop

BuiltWorlds Research Team

2:30 pm — 3:00 pm

“The World’s Tallest Building: Jeddah Tower”

Keynote: Mehdi Jalayerian, Exec. Vice President, ESD

When completed, Jeddah Tower will be the world’s tallest building. As the centerpiece of the Kingdom City urban development, the high-performance structure will feature a luxury hotel, office space, serviced apartments, condominiums, and an observation deck. Take a look at how ESD, one of the world’s leading engineering design firms, used innovative solutions to produce an economic, environmental, and experiential sustainable design. ESD’s Executive Vice President discusses how vertical zoning, combined with the design’s effective infiltration control, helped mitigate the properties of stack effect by reducing pressure differential and controlling the movement of air throughout the building.

3:00pm – 3:15 pm

Break and Networking

3:20 pm — 3:50 pm

Energy and Water Insights

Sara Chamberlain, Managing Director, Energy Foundry - Steve Frenkel, Executive Director, Current

During this session, panelists examine the interaction between data and digital master planning, and the role that supply chains will play in the future of the city and distribution of resources. Sara Chamberlain leads venture investment activity for Energy Foundry, an early-stage venture fund based in Chicago. Chamberlain is also on the Investment Committee for Clean Energy Trust and sits on the Advisory Board for Advanced Energy Group and the Midwest Cleantech Open. She shares her insight into energy, innovation and new venture formation. Joining Chamberlain in this session is Executive Director of Current, Steve Frenkel, sharing his knowledge on the advancement of water research and technology. Prior to his role at Current, Steve served as a management consultant helping power-sector clients develop wind and solar energy projects, having previously led the Midwest office of the Union of Concerned Scientists and directed Midwest operations of Renew Financial, LLC, an innovative clean energy financing firm.

3:55 pm — 4:25 pm

The Future of Mobility Panel

Vivek Mehra, Founder and CEO, ParqEx - Alex Samoylovich, Cedar Street Ventures - Jerry Quandt, Executive Director, IL Autonomous Vehicles Association (ILAVA) - Sharon Feigon, Executive Director, Shared-Use Mobility Center - Moderator: Chris Foreman, CEO, Marketplace.city

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. Hear from ParqEx Founder and CEO, Vivek Mehra, on how he plans to disrupt the process and what his partnership with Cedar Street Ventures means for the built industry. Gain insights on the impacts and benefits of shared mobility and hear about emerging opportunities related to the growth and utilization of AV technologies throughout the entire transportation network. During this session, panelists discuss the importance of investing in mobility solutions and technology advancements shaping smart cities of the future.

4:25 pm — 4:30 pm

Closing Remarks

VIP Reception at Heitman Architects


Want to meet some of the industry’s biggest influencers in an intimate setting? Speakers, BuiltWorlds Members and VIP ticket holders can join us for an exclusive VIP Reception the evening prior to Cities. Heitman Architects is located in the in the heart of Downtown Chicago. Stop in for cocktails and hors d’eourves, network with our slate of renowned speakers, and get to know the BW team.

Click here to RSVP

The City-Scale Case Studies

Our speakers won’t be presenting “pie-in-the-sky” ideas. Instead, they’ll show off case studies from successful city-scale redevelopments around the world, including projects like NYC’s underground park “The Lowline,” Nashville’s Autonomous Public Transportation System, Chicago’s Riverwalk and Burnham Lakefront, Detroit’s Neighborhood Revitalization Project, China’s highly innovative city Qingdao and more.

Cities will feature NYC’s “Lowline.” The world’s first underground park.

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

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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 kristin.carey@builtworlds.com for all Buildings 2.0 related questions.

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