Brian Vandewalle & Jolena Presti speak at the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Brian Vandewalle & Jolena Presti speak at the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus

MILWAUKEE, WI: The Great Lakes Legislative Caucus  July 17 to 20 brings together state and provincial lawmakers from eight U.S. states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) and two Canadian provinces (Ontario and Québec). The annual meeting fosters a regional exchange of ideas and information on key Great Lakes issues, and helps strengthen the role of legislators in policymaking. Vandewalle & Associates’ President and CEO Brian Vandewalle presented two early examples from the firm’s 30 years of developing processes for Great Lakes Economic Restructuring: Buffalo, New York and Lorain, Ohio. Brian provided a perspective on how the Midwest of the 1970s and 80s was unprepared to deal with cleaning up and finding viable uses for its vast tracts of industrial lakefront property. He also expressed how great the challenges remain for communities needing to restructure their formerly manufacturing- and shipping-centric economies.  V&A’s Jolena Presti, AICP, shared some of the issues, approaches and results surrounding the restructuring of two other Great Lakes communities, Sheboygan and Racine, Wisconsin. Both Great Lakes cities were heavily shaped by their industrial river- and lakefronts; today the two cities are in various stages of reclaiming those sites and successfully repositioning them for new economy uses. Following the presentation, Brian and Jolena led group discussion on what lawmakers might do to jump-start repositioning efforts in their own communities.

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