Maurice Cox to be appointed Commissioner of Chicago Department of Planning and Development

“Mayor Lori Lightfoot made it official: Detroit’s director of planning and the former mayor of Charlottesville, Va., will lead Chicago’s “comprehensive growth and sustainability efforts” at City Hall’s Planning & Development Department.

“Maurice Cox ‘is uniquely qualified to help create a city where development addresses the fundamental needs of every neighborhood so that Chicago benefits and equitably works for all its residents,” Lightfoot said in a statement. His appointment will be formally filed at the next City Council meeting in September.’

“Cox replaces acting Commissioner Eleanor Gorski, who will continue as first deputy. Gorski replaced David Reifman, who served during Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s tenure.” (Quig, Crain’s Chicago Business, 8/7/19)

“Architect Magazine described Cox in October 2016 as “the Detroit’s highest-profile planning director since Charles Blessing, who in the 1960s dreamed up a modernist remake of the city that was never implemented.”

“In his time in the city, Cox came to be known in the development community as having a strong eye for design and a willingness to demand developers and architects to go back to the drawing board if he didn’t approve of their concepts.

“I think Maurice was an advocate for the city and the city’s aesthetic long-term in a way that a lot of people don’t see. I think he has taken a long view of what the city should look like. He has also been an advocate for equitable development, ensuring that developers who have historically been ignored or pushed to the sideline have an opportunity and a voice,” said Clifford Brown, managing partner of Detroit-based developer Woodborn Partners LLC to Crain’s. (Crain’s, 7/19/19)

Additional Reading
Lightfoot taps Detroit planner for city planning department, Maurice Cox, who has experience in politics and is known for sharp design, will join the city in September, Mayor Lightfoot confirmed, A.D. Quig, Crain’s Chicago Business, 8/7/19

Chicago raids Detroit for top planning official; Maurice Cox will leave Michigan this fall to become Chicago’s commissioner of planning and development, Kirk Pinho and Chad Livengood, Crain’s Detroit Business, July 19, 2019

Maurice Cox’s Detroit; How an ambitious planner and progressive new development are shaping a city that has reached a historic tipping point, Karrie Jacobs, Architect Magazine, 10/25/16

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