Municipal leaders from across the country will meet in Chicago from June 16-18 for the inaugural 8-80 “Cities Forum: The Doable City” event. As part of the forum, civic officials will discuss methods by which to make cities more vibrant – including ways to increase walking, biking, public transit and the proactive use of public space.

The forum aims to create a “civic innovation network” of local government leaders by building connections across the country, according to program materials. The event will feature sessions with leading urban thinkers and hands-on activities.

Speakers at the event will include Charles Montgomery, author of Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design; Dan Burden, named by Time magazine as one of the six most important civic innovators in the world; Edward Uhlir, executive director of Chicago’s Millennium Park; Gia Biagi, current chief of staff of the Chicago Park District; Mia Birk, president of Alta Planning + Design and author of Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet; and Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of Knight Foundation.

”There is so much that can be done in our cities to make them happier, healthier and more prosperous. But change is hard. This forum will teach people about what can be done now, and how we can move from talking to doing,” Gil Penalosa, executive director of 8-80 Cities and former commissioner of parks, sport and recreation for Bogota, Colombia, said in a statement.

The forum is supported by a $274,000 donation from the Knight Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to promote engagement and education through media and the arts, and sponsored by 8-80 Cities, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the vitality of cities through effective use of public space.

To learn more about the event, or for information on how to register, visit the program’s website.


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