The Power of Place: Addressing Urban Inequity Through Innovation and Design

Gerben van Straaten, Founder, World of Walas; Andrea Zopp, President and CEO, World Business Chicago. Moderated by Alaina Harkness.

Over the past few decades, changing economic and demographic trends have led to a new demand for innovative downtown spaces. However, as people and wealth are increasingly concentrated in city centers, resources have been invested into projects that often exclude low-income communities. Transformative placemaking frames urban regeneration as an equity issue and calls upon city leaders and innovators to address equal access to public spaces and invest in communities with less social and economic capital. How can innovative development expand work and educational opportunities for all - rather than expand the urban equity gap? How can city governments and the private development sector re-define the parameters of urban development?

Speaker Bio


1:45 p.m.

Doors open


2:00 p.m.



3:00 p.m.