2017 Community Information Forum

The theme of this year's breakfast is the relationship between placemaking and economic development. Our keynote speaker, Ed McMahon of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), is nationally known as an inspiring and thought-provoking speaker and a leading authority on topics such as the links between health and the built environment, sustainable development, land conservation, smart growth, and historic preservation. His presentation, titled "Secrets of Successful Communities: How Cities Can Prosper in a Rapidly Changing World," will explore these themes through the lens of economic development.

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Video: 2017 Community Information Forum (Ed McMahon)

Speaker Bio:

Ed McMahon hols the Charles E. Fraser Chair on Sustainable Development at the Urban Land Institue (ULI) in Washington, DC where he is nationally known as an inspiring and through-provoking speaker and leading authority on economic development and land use polices and trends.

McMahon leads ULI's worldwide efforts to conduct research and educational activities related to environmentally sensitive development policies and practices. He is also Chairman of the Board of the National Main Street Center and a Senior Advisor to the ULI's Healthy Places Initiative.

Before joining ULI in 2004, McMahon spent 14 years as the Vice President and Director of the Land Use Programs for The Conservation Fund, where he helped to protect more than 5 million acres of land of historic or natural significance. He is also the co-founder and former President of Scenic America, a national non-profit organization devoted to protecting America's scenic landscapes. Before that, he taught law and public policy at Georgetown University Law Center for 9 years, and served in the U.S. Army, both at home and abroad.

McMahon is the author or co-author of 15 books and over 500 articles. He also writes regularly for Urban Land Magazine, Planning Commissioners Journal and other periodicals. During the past 30 years, McMahon has worked with more than 600 communities in all 50 states on a wide variety of land use and economic development issues. He has served on numerous boards and commissions.

McMahon has a B.S. from Spring Hill College; an M.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Alabama, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law School. He and his wife live in Takoma Park, Maryland.

About Information Forums

The community information forum was envisioned by the McLean County Regional Planning Commission in 2005 to highlight awareness of issues that could affect future regional and community planning. Educating the general public, government, and business about innovations in planning and development practices is important for the future of any region. Each forum addresses a topic and features a speaker that has successfully implemented important planning concepts on the local regional, or national level.

Past events:

Innovation districts: An Entrepreneurial & Educational Partnership
2016 Speaker: Bruce Katz

Innovative Comprehensive Planning
2015 Speaker: Kenneth A. Bowers, AICP

Neighborhoods, Redevelopment, Planning and Financing                                                 2014 Speaker: Charles Marohn Jr., P.E. AICP

Expanding Transit to Meet Future Travel Demands                                                       2013 Speaker: Janet F. Kavinoky

Health and the Built Environment                                                                              2012 Speaker: Richard J. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H.

How Regional Airports Can Support Community and Economic Development                    2011 Speaker: Michael J. Boyd

Creating Places Where People Want to Live and Do Business                                          2010 Speaker: James Brainard

Pros and Cons of Impact Fees                                                                            2009 Speaker: James B. Duncan

Workforce Housing for a Growing Economy                                                                  2008 Speaker: Michael L. Montandon

Encouraging Mixed Use Economic Development                                                            2007 Speaker: Bryan E. Powell

How Good Planning Can Make Your Community Attractive to People and Business            2006 Speaker: William H. Hudnut III