Maurice D. Cox was appointed Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and confirmed by the City Council on October 16, 2019.
Celebrated for his experience merging architecture, design and politics through multiple public, private and elected positions, Cox is responsible for leading DPD’s economic development, planning and zoning functions while fostering community-improvement initiatives throughout the city. His primary focus is under-invested neighborhoods on the South and West sides.
In his previous capacity as director of planning and development for the City of Detroit, Cox created a new, resident-centered planning and development department and led innovative urban planning and revitalization strategies that championed the equitable redevelopment of neighborhoods that fostered population growth and new mixed-use, mixed-income investment.
Cox was formerly the design director of the National Endowment of the Arts under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, where he represented the federal government for architecture and design matters and served as an advisor to more than 120 mayors on urban design issues.
He also served as mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, from 2002 and 2004, following six years as a City Councilor. As an elected official, Cox implemented numerous community visioning processes and strategic planning initiatives that resulted in Charlottesville’s consistently high ranking as one of the most livable cities in the United States, as well as the smallest city in the country to maintain a AAA-bond rating for excellence in fiscal management. He also chaired the city’s Housing and Development Authority Commission, Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization, and Mayor’s Taskforce on Urban Housing Policy.
Cox is a former professor at Syracuse University, the University of Virginia and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design; a former associate dean for community engagement at Tulane University; and former director of the Tulane City Center in New Orleans.
He also practiced architecture for 10 years in Florence, Italy, where he met his wife and raised their two children.
Cox has been named by Design Intelligence as one of the “most admired design educators in America” and by Fast Company magazine as one of “20 Masters of Design” in the United States.
A native of Brooklyn, he has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Cooper Union in New York City and an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Detroit Mercy. He hopes to continue his 30-year tradition of walking and biking to work from a home he will share with his wife on the Near North Side.
Marisa Novara was appointed Commissioner of the Department of Housing (DOH) by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot in June 2019.
As DOH commissioner, Novara directs the City’s efforts to keep Chicago affordable for all income levels through projects and policies that address the needs of tenants, landlords, developers, homeowners and other community stakeholders.
DOH programs, under her direction, support affordable housing construction and rehabilitation projects, provide purchase assistance for first-time homebuyers, enable accessible repairs for seniors, provide grants for home improvement projects, and offer development incentives for the redevelopment of vacant and abandoned buildings. DOH also administers the City’s affordability requirements for multi-family construction projects and monitors compliance for all City-assisted affordable housing projects and policies.
Before joining the department, Novara served as a policy director for Mayor Lightfoot’s transition team and was formerly vice president of the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC). During her 8-year tenure at MPC, Novara designed and managed the Cost of Segregation project, a 2017 study that concluded how decades-old patterns of racial and economic segregation cost the Chicago region an estimated $4.4 billion in additional income each year. She also led the subsequent creation of the region’s first comprehensive guide to a more racially equitable future, among other reports, studies and articles.
Prior to MPC, Novara directed affordable rental and for-sale housing development for Lawndale Christian Development Corp. in the North Lawndale community.
Novara has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in sociology, master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, certificate in affordable housing finance, development and management from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and master’s in urban planning from the Istituto Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy.
She lives in the Little Italy neighborhood with her family.
Leslé Honoré is a Blaxican Poet, artivist, and author of Fist & Fire, a collection of powerful, unflinching poems that confront issues of social justice through the lens of real human lives and voices, and dive into the flames of love within the context of a relationship. In her poetry and life she works to empower youth to find their voices through the arts, and inspire people to stand in the gaps that social, economic, and racial inequities create. Leslé challenges readers, inviting them to think, feel, and consider how to create spaces where everyone can thrive. She hopes that through her work she can help give voices to people who are often silenced, unheard, and feel invisible. Her pieces about Serena Williams and Doria Roberts went viral on social media and expanded the reach of her work to an international audience.
Poetry has always been how Leslé expressed herself, discovering her writer’s voice in childhood. She further honed her work at Xavier University of Louisiana where she studied English Literature and Spanish. Leslé was a featured speaker at the inaugural Tedx Grand Boulevard in 2020. She has spoken and read her work at Obama Foundation convenings and events, the Elevated Chicago Symposium, Chicago’s 19th Amendment Commemoration, the University of Illinois Chicago’s Speaking Anarcha’s Name, The Mercantile Library (Cincinnati) and at events including the Silver Room Block Party and National Period Day. She has been featured in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, WBEZ (NPR), The Kendall Moore Show/WVON, and all major Chicago tv news outlets. In October 2019, she was honored as the Community Partner of the Year by One On One. Leslé also hosts a web-based series, Bestie Shine, with her friend, artist David Anthony Geary.
Born and raised in Gardena, California, she remains deeply rooted in the heritage and culture of her father, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana; and mother, who was born in Sinaloa, Culiacan, Mexico, and immigrated to the US when she was 15. Leslé lives in Chicago with her three phenomenal children: Sage, Solomon, and Scarlett. She believes in HBCU’s and that tacos and gumbo without kale can save the world. Her forthcoming book, Letters and Lagniappe, will be released in 2020. You can follow Leslé on Facebook and Instagram @LesléHonoré, and on Twitter @Lesle_honore. (Note: Her name is pronounced LES-lay ON-or-ay.)
Kendra joined the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) in 2016. With more than 20 years of experience in program development and operations, she held leadership positions in the private and nonprofit sectors with a focus on affordable housing and capacity building. As Director of Community Development & Engagement, Kendra oversees MPC’s housing policy and equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) programs and guides the organization’s approach to community engagement in research, policy advocacy and technical assistance.
Prior to MPC, Kendra worked in affordable housing development and management, where she invested in people to improve the quality of life in their communities. As executive director of Holsten Human Capital Development, NFP, she oversaw the nonprofit’s daily operations, including an annual budget of more than $1.5 million and 25 staff serving more than 1,200 households living in subsidized housing.
Kendra is a native Chicagoan and licensed real estate broker. She holds a bachelor’s in sociology and a master’s in public administration from DePaul University. Kendra serves as the co-chair of Elevated Chicago, is on the advisory committee for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Greater Chicago, and the Board of Directors for Storycatchers Theatre.
Joshua Wilmoth is the President & CEO of Full Circle Communities, Inc. Joining Full Circle in 2008, Joshua was initially charged with bringing the management of existing developments in house, and has subsequently established development and acquisition strategies. Joshua began his real estate career with Thomas Safran & Associates, Inc. in Los Angeles, California, in 1999, and has been involved in all aspects of development of almost 1,500 units and management of more than 3,000 units.
Joshua also serves as treasurer and board member of the Illinois Housing Council, where he advances policy in support of affordable housing.
Joshua attended Occidental College, holds a degree in NonProfit Management from North Park University, and lives in Chicago with his daughter, Ella.
Dr. Allison Arwady, MD, MPH, is the Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). Dr. Arwady started at CDPH in 2015 and served as Chief Medical Officer before being confirmed by the City Council as Commissioner in January, 2020. As Chief Medical Officer she oversaw the disease control, environmental health, emergency preparedness, and behavioral health divisions. She has worked on disease outbreaks, immunization promotion, tuberculosis response, lead poisoning prevention, substance misuse, and more. Prior to CDPH, she worked for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer. In that role, she focused on outbreak response, including international work on Ebola and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. While based at the Illinois Department of Public Health, she responded to disease outbreaks across the state. She has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University, and completed medical school and clinical training at Yale University. She is a board-certified internal medicine physician and pediatrician, and continues to see primary care patients weekly.
Dr. Allison Arwady
Christian Diaz is Director of Equitable Development at Logan Square Neighborhood Association, a CBO advancing racial equity in Chicago for 58 years. He is a member of the Logan Square Cooperative where he lives with his cats Grumioux and Figaro. He was born in Tepatitlan De Morelos in Jalisco, Mexico.
A Design Director in the firm’s Chicago office, he is focused on and committed to revitalizing and repositioning urban environments through urban design, master planning and architecture. Andre’s broad career experience includes: redevelopment in emerging urban districts; neighborhood and community revitalization; high-density, urban-infill; city-wide master planning; corporate campuses; and industrial centers. He has extensive experience in mixed-income housing and has crafted visionary, yet realistic revitalization plans that have been implemented in economically challenged urban areas. A true urban strategist, Andre has worked with multiple public agencies, private sector clients and non-profit organizations to develop master plans that shape the future of neighborhoods and cities. He is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, working with the ULI|National League of Cities’ Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use, and as the Vice Chair of the ULI’s national Urban Revitalization Council.
Asiaha Butler is a longtime resident of Greater Englewood and is determined to uplift, inspire, and change the negative perception of her neighborhood, which is often seen as a death trap. She coined the name “Mrs. Englewood”, after developing a blog that focused on the positive aspects of Greater Englewood and considers herself married to this community. Through her leadership, she has worked with educators, concerned citizens, youth, parents, elected officials to develop a comprehensive educational plan for schools in the community as well as engage residents in the planning process around land use, housing strategies, TIF Reform, school repurposing efforts and other community development initiatives.
In November of 2010, she mobilized residents and co-founded the Resident Association of Greater Englewood also known as R.A.G.E., which she currently serves as the President. The primary focus areas for R.A.G.E. is Education, Youth Development, Economic Development, and Civic Empowerment. In 2011, she co-founded the Greater Englewood CDC with the mission to rebrand, rebuild and revitalize the economic conditions of this community. With the use of social media, blogging, and other communication mediums Butler has become one of the most recognized and powerful voices from Englewood. In 2014, Butler earned her Master Degree in Inner City Studies Education at Jacob Carruthers Center of Inner City Studies of Northeastern University Illinois.
Butler has spearheaded many of the unique initiatives in her community, which all have become a catalyst for positive change. As a true change agent, she continues her quest to improve the quality of life for residents and is committed to doing whatever is required to see a Greater Englewood thrive.
Green Line South (to, from and through Bronzeville, Washington Park, Woodlawn)
Pink Line (to, from and through Little Village)
Green Line West (to, from and through Lawndale, Garfield Park, Austin)
Blue Line West (to, from and through Lawndale and Austin)
Blue Line Northwest (to, from and through Logan Square)
I am not a rider on any of these lines
Locations of Elevated Chicago Steering Committee members and Community Table partners.
Elevated Chicago pipeline projects in progress or completed.
Life expectancy is the average number of years a person may expect to live based on the year of their birth.
City of Chicago Recommended Opportunity Zone Tracts. The federal Opportunity Zone Program encourages private investment in low-income communities by offering tax incentives for qualified investors.
1/4 mile radius surrounding Metra rail stations eligible for transit oriented development incentives
Areas surrounding high frequency bus routes eligible for transit oriented development incentives
Ward boundaries in Chicago (2015 – present)
Chicago is home to a growing and important collection of murals. The Mural Registry catalogs the City’s growing collection of murals in a publicly accessible database. More information can be found here
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a funding tool used by the City of Chicago that is intended to promote investment across the city. When an area is declared a TIF district, the amount of property tax the area generates is set at a base amount. As property values increase, all property tax growth above that amount can be used to fund redevelopment projects within the district. Most TIF districts last for a period of 23 years.
This above represents the eHub area.
Map Menu with layer descriptions & options
Open map in full screen mode
Google map options
Reload to main map view
Map specific listing search
Sort listing by category
Alpha options for sorting list
Find locations on the map by typing in text area
Move left = Left arrow
Move right = Right arrow
Move up = Up arrow
Move down = Down arrow
Your Name (required)
Please leave this field empty.
Hit enter to search or ESC to close