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Festival of Arts, Design, and Planning

Resilient Urban Futures

A Symposium on Design and Planning

February 21–22, 2019

Today, the state of Illinois is a crucible for issues affecting the nation, from opioid abuse and neighborhood resilience to urban segregation and the rise of e-commerce landscapes. The Resilient Urban Futures symposium examines these issues in detail, bringing together scholars, designers, and experts from diverse fields to analyze present-day conditions and recommend how future urbanisms can emerge and thrive in our communities. Highlights of the symposium include keynote speeches by journalist Ben Austen and urban policy and health scholar Dr. Mindy Fullilove. Four panels led by faculty in the College of Fine and Applied Arts will address themes related to urban policy, landscape, health, housing, research, and design, reframing urbanism in 21st-century Illinois and offering new possibilities for collaborative, interdisciplinary engagement.

The symposium will be conducted in Temple Hoyne Buell Hall (TBH) located at 611 East Lorado Taft Drive, Champaign.

Registration Is Closed

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Opening Keynote: Ben AustenCabrini-Green and the Urban Myth

Plym Auditorium

Opening Reception

The Blicharski Atrium

Friday, February 22, 2019


The Blicharski Atrium

Program Overview

TBH Gallery

Opioid Abuse in the United States: What Can Design Do?

TBH Gallery

Engaging professionals from medicine and design, this session interrogates relationships between the current opioid epidemic and the built environment. 

Opioid abuse has been framed in recent years as a primarily medical problem, focused on the health and rehabilitation of the individual. However, through design research, we can demonstrate that the built environment (architecture, landscape architecture, and planning) has a significant role to play in this problem. Furthermore, redesigning environments in regions with high overdose rates can potentially help mitigate longer term problems of economic decline, low air and water quality, deteriorating infrastructure, and inaccessible health care.

  • Moderator: Aneesha Dharwadker, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Department of Landscape Architecture, U of I
  • Dr. Wiley Jenkins, Research Associate Professor, School of Medicine, SIU
  • Dr. Brandi Barnes, Research Development Manager, Health Disparities, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute, U of I
  • Anne Gibson, Design Director (Health and Wellness), Gensler Chicago

Coffee Break

The Blicharski Atrium

Governing Mobility, Displacement, and the Right to Place

TBH Gallery

How households move within and between metropolitan areas determines patterns of racial, economic, and social segregation. The decision-making processes and external forces that shape relocation have important and long-lasting psychological, financial, and health implications for movers. This panel brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars and local practitioners to discuss the challenges and prospective impacts of governing residential mobility, displacement, and neighborhood change.

Lunch and Keynote: Mindy Fullilove: Elephants in the Landscape: Restoring the Fractured Urban Ecosystem

The Blicharski Atrium

The Urbanism of E-Commerce

Since the turn of the century, the discipline of landscape architecture has become an indispensable tool for cities seeking to lure jobs and investment to downtown areas and nearby neighborhoods. In the United States, alongside iconic skyscrapers, high-profile works of landscape architecture such as the High Line, Millennium Park, and the Chicago Riverwalk symbolize their respective cities. While urban investment and landscape architectural disciplinary activity has focused on these spaces, an equally as important, yet understudied, trend has emerged: the development of vast areas for the storage and coordination of e-commerce. These "landscapes of logistics" are the corollary to walkable streets, high-profile parks, next-day shipping, and international supply chains that some urban residents so often enjoy. The rapidly emerging forms they take, from the single-story Amazon warehouse built on former cropland to the city warehouse located to accelerate last-mile delivery, are negatively affecting the ecological and social health of their context. Can landscape architecture and design apply urban expertise to the urbanism of e-commerce to promote healthy, resilient communities? This panel gathers designers to take stock of these recent transformations and discuss ways in which design can effect positive change.

  • Moderator: Conor O’Shea, Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, U of I
  • Julie Cidell, Professor, Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, U of I
  • Ali Fard, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, University of Virginia
  • Ghazal Jafari, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, University of Virginia
  • Clare Lyster, Associate Professor, College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts, UIC

Coffee Break

The Blicharski Atrium

Healthy Resilient Communities

  • Moderator: Arnab Chakraborty, Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, U of I
  • Lindsay Braun, Assistant Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, U of I 
  • Lynne Dearborn, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, U of I
  • Raed Mansour, Director, Office of Innovation, Chicago Department of Public Health

Symposium Lessons


Planning Committee

Arnab Chakraborty, Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Aneesha Dharwadker, School of Architecture and Department of Landscape Architecture
Andrew Greenlee, Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Conor O'Shea, Department of Landscape Architecture


This symposium is sponsored in part by:
Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute