LINCOLN SQUARE — The phrase "transit-oriented development" is all the rage with urban planners and policymakers, but what exactly does it mean and, more importantly, how will it affect Chicago's neighborhoods?
The first question is easy to answer: Transit-oriented developments essentially concentrate housing and commercial activity near public transportation infrastructure, with the goal of increasing walkability and reducing the need for cars. But because they are close to public transportation, the city allows them to provide far fewer parking spaces than normally required of projects of their size.
The second question, which has sparked heated debates, will be the subject of an upcoming free public forum hosted by community organizations on Chicago's North Side, where transit-oriented developments are being proposed with increasing frequency.
Dick Simpson, political science professor and former 44th Ward alderman, will moderate a discussion of transit-oriented development's potential benefits and drawbacks, scheduled for 7-9 p.m. Aug. 22 at DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave.
The program will include presentations from a panel of experts and an opportunity for audience Q&A.
Scheduled panelists are:
• Kendra Jackson Freeman, manager for housing and community development at the Metropolitan Planning Council.
• Joshua Krueger, developer with Campbell Street Asset Management.
• Joseph Schweiterman, professor of public service management and director of DePaul University's Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development.
• Kyle Smith, senior project manager at Antero Group consultants, also manages technical assistance for equitable transit-oriented development with the Center for Neighborhood Technology.