Chicago Loop Alliance launches Downtown Futures Series Wednesday, Nov. 11


Panelists at kickoff forum include execs from City Center Philadelphia, Stone Real Estate and City of Chicago’s Department of Urban Design and Planning


CHICAGO (October 19, 2015)—Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), the sole service provider for Special Service Area #1, launches its new multi-year Downtown Futures Series on Wednesday, Nov. 11. The global downtown is in a renaissance—from the sharing economy and future transportation technology to increased professional mobility, collaborative offices and the burgeoning creative class. CLA’s Downtown Futures Series will bring recognized urban thought leaders into public dialogues on emerging downtown trends and their impact on Chicago’s Loop. Forums will be held three times annually from 2016-2018.


The kickoff event Nov. 11, The Future of Downtowns, will begin this conversation with Paul R. Levy, President & CEO of Philadelphia’s City Center District; CLA Board Member John Vance, vice president of Stone Real Estate; and Benet Haller, director of Urban Design and Planning at the City of Chicago. Levy will present on future opportunities and challenges for downtowns, followed by commentary from Vance and Haller on the impact of these trends on Chicago’s downtown: the Loop.


CLA’s Downtown Futures Series kickoff, The Future of Downtowns, takes place at Gensler (11 E. Madison Street, 3rd Floor) on Wednesday, Nov. 11 from 8-9 a.m. A light breakfast and networking will begin at 7:30 a.m. Tickets are free for CLA members and $20 for non-members, and are available for purchase at


“The membership of Chicago Loop Alliance drives this level of thought leadership—expecting not only a high-performing downtown environment today, but also for years to come,” says CLA Board Chairman and Gensler Principal David Broz. “It is with this forward-thinking, critical analysis of current activities and forecasting of urban trends that will allow our downtown to be relevant well into the next decades.”


Paul R. Levy is the founding chief executive of Philadelphia’s Center City District (CCD), serving in that capacity since January 1991. The CCD is a $22 million downtown management district, which provides security, cleaning, place marketing, promotion, planning and capital improvement services for the central business district of Philadelphia. To date, the CCD has completed $132 million in streetscape, lighting, park and façade improvements, including a complete relighting of eight building facades and two dozen public sculptures on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway museums district; the illumination of the facades of 12 buildings on the Avenue of the Arts with synchronized, color-changing LED lighting; and the construction and operation of a café at the entrance to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Levy has also advised numerous U.S., European, Australian and Japanese cities on the formation of city center management organizations. He teaches at the graduate school of the University of Pennsylvania in the City Planning Department.


Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), the sole service provider for Special Service Area #1, creates, manages and promotes high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Loop. For more information, please visit