The University of Illinois at Chicago

College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs Alumni Association

Proudly Presents


Improving the Environment…Improving the Community


DATE:             Tuesday, March 30, 2004

TIME:              Registration begins at 5:30pm, panel discussion starts at 6:00 p.m., followed by Q&A session

LOCATION:    Prairie Avenue Bookstore, 418 S. Wabash, Chicago, IL 60605


Sunny Sonnenschein, Ph.D., Director of Information Technology, Chicago Metropolis 2020


Eugene Goldfarb, J.D., AICP: Midwest Environmental Officer, US Department of Housing and Urban Development

Martin S. Jaffe, J.D.:  Assoc. Professor, Urban Planning and Policy, UIC College of Urban Planning & Public Affairs

James Patchett, ASLA: President and Founder, Conservation Design Forum



Join our panel of environmental experts, moderated by a longtime advocate for the environment, to learn what planners, policy makers, government officials, businesses, and citizens can and are doing to tackle current environmental problems and prevent future deterioration of our valuable and irreplaceable environment.  The moderator and panelists will provide specific solutions from their direct experience in development, landscape architecture, civil engineering, and environmental law, research, and management.

Environmental issues pervade our surroundings.  From poor air quality, polluted water, and flooding, to invasive species and temperature extremes, environmental issues directly affect all people, as well as governments and businesses, and will continue to do so for generations to come.  They are the result of years of inefficient building practices, sprawling development patterns, water intensive landscapes, and excessive consumption of natural resources and manmade products.  Not only does the destruction of our environment cause health problems and higher costs, it also lowers our quality of life. 

But these problems have not gone unnoticed.  Through the years, government regulations, programs, and mega projects have been implemented to manage, prevent, or reverse environmental damage.  Additionally, communities, individuals, and professionals have made strides through volunteer clean-up and restoration efforts, the development of new design standards, and the advocacy for energy and emissions regulations.  While many of these efforts are helping to reduce and prevent further problems, others are simply managing the problems.  Further, some state and federal programs that led to major improvements, such as the Clean Air Act, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, and the State of Illinois Open Space and Land Acquisition and Development Fund are at risk of losing their positive impact due to cuts in funding or contradictory new rules, such as the Mercury Reduction Rule and the Interstate Air Quality Rule.

Locally, there are several major environmental issues that the public and private sectors need to address.  In Chicago, the Chicago River is cleaner than it was even a decade ago, but is still nowhere near as clean and active as it should be.  Likewise, Lake Michigan is routinely closed throughout the summer from high bacteria levels resulting from stormwater and sewer overflows, and losing water and valuable shoreline each year.  Original prairie lands are rare in Illinois, except where they have been specifically restored, and several species are in decline or extinct.  In terms of air quality, a good public transportation system helps reduce pollution, but Chicagoland still suffers from ozone action days each year.


Registration Fee:


Alumni Association members*-$5


*Current members of the CUPPA Alumni Association.  Non-members who join while registering for the event receive a special discount on admission, Please call or e-mail for details


For more information or to register,

please contact Cathy Sanders at or 312.996.2161.

Download the pdf version of this page


This is the second panel discussion in the three-part CUPPA Alumni Association Annual Spring Speaker Series.  The final panel in this series will be held on April 20 (Better Development) at the Prairie Ave. Bookshop.