As part of its ongoing community involvement efforts, Plan-it Allen! welcomes John Norquist to Fort Wayne for a speaking engagement on December 13. His presentation is entitled, “Turning Community Dreams into Livable Realities.”

The event will be held in the Walb Student Union Ballroom on the campus of IPFW.  The evening begins with a reception at 5 p.m., followed by Norquist'€™s highly-visual presentation at 6 p.m.  The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.  Parking is also free in a parking garage adjacent to Walb Union.

John Norquist'€™s appearance is sponsored by the Fort Wayne Area Association of Realtors'€™ MLS Housing Symposium Fund, IPFW, the City of Fort Wayne and Allen County.

Norquist is widely-recognized across the country for his presentations on community design and development.  He is currently the President of the Congress for the New Urbanism, a national organization working to create buildings, neighborhoods and regions that provide a high quality of life for all residents, while protecting the natural environment and preserving our built legacy.

Norquist served as Mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from 1988-2003.  Under his leadership, Milwaukee saw a decline in poverty, experienced a boom in new downtown housing and became an acknowledged center of education and welfare reform. He has overseen a revision of the city's zoning code and reoriented development around walkable streets and public amenities such as the city's 3.1-mile Riverwalk.  He has drawn widespread recognition for championing the removal of an .8-mile stretch of elevated freeway, clearing the way for an anticipated $250 million in infill development in the heart of Milwaukee.

In the vanguard of national discussions on urban design and educational issues, Norquist is the author of “The Wealth of Cities,” and has taught courses in urban policy and urban planning at the University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and at Marquette University.  Throughout his presentation he contrasts the beauty and logic of real cities and  well-planned communities with the puzzling suburban growth that dominates our current landscape.

“John Norquist has hands-on expertise in putting new development concepts to work in his own community,” stated Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard.  “Drawing from his years in public service and observations from around the world, Norquist makes the case for the enduring value of the urban form and the community'€™s power to create healthy, livable environments that last.  This is a rare opportunity for Allen County and Fort Wayne residents to view our community in a whole new way.”

“John Norquist is a very engaging and informative expert who speaks eloquently about the importance of planning '€“ and of the perils of failing to plan adequately,” said Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters.  “In a very short amount of time, he is able to vividly bring to life many of the reasons why the Plan-it Allen! process is so important to our future. Innovative ideas such as his will make our countywide comprehensive plan better and, ultimately, more meaningful to the community."

Plan-it Allen! is the citizen-powered initiative to develop a new comprehensive land-use and development plan for Allen County and the City of Fort Wayne '€“ the first-ever, joint effort in our community'€™s history.

For additional information about the John Norquist event or the project, explore the Plan-it Allen! website at or contact Jane Yoh at 427-2175.