Preckwinkle, Norquist to talk at School of Law symposium

Lauren Caruba, Assistant Campus Editor

Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle and John Norquist, president and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism, will speak at a symposium hosted by Northwestern’s School of Law later this week.

Preckwinkle and Norquist are the keynote speakers for the sixth annual symposium, entitled “Legal Implications of Urban Development,” of the School of Law’s Journal of Law and Social Policy. The full-day conference is taking place Friday, March 1, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Lincoln Hall.

Concentrating on how social policy and urban affairs issues factor into urban development, the symposium will include numerous representatives from organizations across the state, as well as the presentation of two case studies of current development initiatives within the city of Chicago.

Preckwinkle, Cook County board president since 2010 and a former Chicago alderman, will speak about the county’s new land-banking project, which is aimed at tackling the 10 percent of properties in the county that are currently vacant. The project, proposed last year, will help simplify land titles so properties can change hands to new owners more quickly.

As head of the chief group for neighborhood and community development, Norquist will talk about the impact of federal housing finance protocols on urbanism.

The presentation of two case studies, which will kick off the symposium, will examine the potential uses for two Chicago sites: the location that was formerly the town of Pullman and the area that used to be U.S. Steel Southworks.

Other notable speakers at the convention include Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, 10th District Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer and Rich Wheelock, director of advocacy for Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.

— Lauren Caruba