Think Tank 2019 Think Tank 2019



We are inviting you-- “you” here meaning architects, urban planners, students. academics, aficionados, transit officials, city workers, urban dwellers, suburban commuters, and in short: designers-- to participate in an ideas exposition that attempts to identify and propose solutions to impediments to development that will come to define the city of Chicago by the year 2050.

The Think Tank invites participants to consider the state of the Midwestern megaregion centered on the Chicago node, examine the effects of growth on the city’s urban and suburban spaces and propose alternative infrastructures for transit and connection that will shape the next thirty years. Although America 2050 defines the Midwestern megaregion as extending from Chicago out to Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Detroit, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Rochester, and the Quad Cities, for the purposes of the Think Tank we will be examining the region with a special focus on Chicago, the major hub linking many of these cities to each other.

The Think Tank challenges designers, speakers, and thought leaders with identifying a specific problem within one of four major types of urban and suburban categories: 
  • Housing & Homelessness
  • Rivers & Watersheds
  • Green Spaces
  • Transportation & Mobility
The rise of the Chicagoland megaregion has been widely dissected in the fields of land use and infrastructure planning. Emerging technologies, cultural trends, and economic forces are encouraging us to think of Chicagoland not as a city surrounded by suburbs, but instead as one single, interconnected web of infrastructure, services, and opportunity.

We invite participants to engage in this conversation with architects, artists, engineers, urban planners, and community organizers in order to understand the state of our megaregion and its future. How does a future-focused region centralized around the Great Lakes treat its economy, ecosystems, and citizens? When do state lines and other artificial boundaries become irrelevant in the face of problems on a regional scale? How do we all grow together without losing sight of what we’ve gained along the way? What are the current lost opportunities that can be leveraged with cooperation and communication? How do we improve the transportation corridors that connect our lives and economies?

Legat Architects is curating this symposium in association with the Chicago Architecture Biennial, DIRTT Environmental Solutions, Kimball Chicago, K.R. Miller, and Site Design Group. Please email Justin Banda of Legat Architects for further information or questions (