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Water is key to a thriving Chicago. Join us for a panel discussion to hear diverse perspectives on how good design can help us better co-exist with water in the future.

$15 public
$7 CAF members
MPC office, 140 S. Dearborn St, Suite 1400*

This program was rescheduled from June 14, 2018, and tickets purchased for that date will be honored. Please note the location change. If you have questions about a ticket you purchased for this program, email

Aging stormwater infrastructure, expanding paved surfaces and more frequent and intense rainfall are challenges we face in our quest to harmonize the built and natural environments throughout Chicago. Managed poorly, water overwhelms existing sewers, floods homes and contaminates our waterways. Managed well, water supports ecosystems in a vibrant urban landscape. It takes actions and investments, small and large, to prepare us for wet-weather events, improve water quality in our rivers and lake and build resilient communities.

How are we designing places and ecosystems to ensure a future in which water is an asset to Chicago? Moderated by Metropolitan Planning Council Vice President Josh Ellis, this dialogue will feature Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioner Josina Morita, Chicago Department of Planning and Development’s Michael Berkshire and two landscape architects: Ernie Wong from site design group, ltd. and Kelly Murphy from Hoerr Schaudt. This program is jointly hosted by CAF and the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and coincides with MPC's River Edge Ideas Lab exhibit.

AIA/CES Credit: 1 LU

Program Moderator: Josh Ellis

Josh Ellis

Josh Ellis is the vice president of the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), where he has worked since 2006. Josh directs many of MPC’s urban and regional planning initiatives, including Great Rivers Chicago, a vision for the Chicago, Calumet and Des Plaines rivers. He is also a frequent public speaker and has led many of MPC's research projects, including Immeasurable Loss: Modernizing Lake Michigan Water Use and Before the Wells Run Dry.

Program Speaker: Michael Berkshire

Michael Berkshire

Michael Berkshire works for the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development. He recently led an inter-departmental team in updating the Chicago Sustainable Development Policy, which requires developers to include sustainable strategies in projects that are receiving financial or zoning assistance from the city. Michael holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning.

Program Speaker: Josina Wing Morita

Josina Wing Morita

Josina Wing Morita is Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioner. Elected in 2016, she is the first Asian American elected to a countywide board in Cook County—the second largest county in the country. As an urban planner and policy advocate, Josina brings expertise in equity policy, land use, stormwater management and regional planning.

Program Speaker: Kelly Murphy PLA, ASLA, LEED AP

Kelly Murphy

Kelly is an associate with Hoerr Schaudt, a landscape architecture firm dedicated to crafting architectural spaces in collaboration with nature. She believes Chicago is one of the most exciting places to be a landscape architect, due in part to the value the city places on great design. Kelly is passionate about urban water systems and the impact interdisciplinary partnerships can have on them and serves on the Friends of the Chicago River Planning Committee.

Program Speaker: Ernest C. Wong, FASLA, APA

Kelly Murphy

As the founding principal and president of site, Ernest C. Wong has been instrumental in the success of the firm and the landscape architecture and urban design profession in Chicago. Under his direction, the firm has won numerous national and international design awards for unprecedented creative design and beautifully detailed urban spaces.

  • This program is jointly hosted and being ticketed by the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC).
  • Upon arrival, please proceed directly to MPC's offices on the 14th floor for the program.

Program Partner  Metropolitan Planning Council

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