Press Release - City of San Jose - Economic Development by shuifanglj


									                                                  Press Release
                                                      Office of Economic Development


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           Jennifer Easton (408)277-5144 x 24
                                                San Jose Office of Economic Development
                                                Office of Cultural Affairs

                                                Steven Brewster (415) 577-8851
                                                San Jose Office of Economic Development

   Chicago’s Millennium Park Executive Director to Share
                 Project Scope and Impact
           Presentation to examine how a world-class park transformed
                            a neighborhood and a city

SAN JOSE, CALIF.—(July 2, 2007)—The City of San Jose’s Office of Cultural
Affairs presents Urban Renewal: An Insider’s Look at Millennium Park with Ed
Uhlir, FAIA, executive director of Chicago’s Millennium Park, 7 p.m., Thursday,
July 12, at Le Petit Trianon Theater, 72 N. 5th Street, in Downtown San Jose.
      Co-sponsored by 1stACT Silicon Valley and the Commonwealth Club of
California, the presentation will feature Uhlir discussing the development of the
$475 million Millennium Park and how it helped transform Chicago’s downtown
lakefront and impact that city’s image. Admission is free.
      Millennium Park—dubbed as a modernist playground—opened three years
ago at the edge of Lake Michigan and the northern section of Grant Park, the
Chicago’s principal downtown park, and has become one of that city's leading
tourist attractions. The 24.6-acre park features iconic artworks by Anish Kapoor

                                                                         Uhlir Presentation - 2

and Jaume Plensa, and a stunning stainless steel band shell and pedestrian bridge
designed by the architect Frank Gehry.
      It also has had a transforming effect on its adjacent neighborhood. In the
late 1990's, the area was a low-key retail and office district. In the last five years, it
has emerged as one of the city's hottest residential neighborhoods with many
projects rising within blocks of the park. According to a study commissioned by
the City of Chicago in 2005, the park is responsible for about $1.4 billion in
residential development and for increasing residential real estate values in the area
by $100 a square foot.
      Connie Martinez, co-founder of 1st ACT Silicon Valley (ACT stands for art,
creativity and technology) and executive director of the Children’s Discovery
Museum, believes that Millennium Park serves as a model for what other great
cities can do to provide both strong cultural amenities and anchor redevelopment.
      “As San Jose evolves into Silicon Valley’s City Center, we can look to other
successes throughout the world that can inspire our vision for downtown San
Jose’s future growth and prosperity. Millennium Park is a wonderful example for
us to consider,” Martinez said.
      Urban Renewal: An Insider’s Look at Millennium Park is part of an overall
effort by the City of San Jose Public Art Program, and the Office of Economic
Development, to showcase the arts as a catalyst for the Downtown development.
To emphasize San Jose’s commitment to this strategy, a new Public Art
Masterplan was adopted by the San Jose City Council in March 2007, and a
Downtown Public Art Focus Plan is currently in research and development.
Uhlir’s lecture is the first in a series that will examine the integration of the visual
arts and infrastructure and urban planning.

About Ed Uhlir
                                                                     Uhlir Presentation - 3

Uhlir, was appointed design director of Millennium Park by Chicago Mayor
Richard M. Daley in 1998. In this capacity, he oversaw construction and
completion of the 24.5 acre park, coordinating the contributions of world-class
artists and architects, including Frank Gehry, Jaume Plensa, Anish Kapoor and the
landscape design firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichols. Uhlir now serves as the park’s
director of design, architecture and landscape. He is also the executive director of
the not-for-profit group Millennium Park Inc. Before his involvement with
Millennium Park, Uhlir was the director of research and planning for the Chicago
Park District—considered one of the most extensive in the world. Prior to that, he
served as the Park District’s director of architecture, engineering and planning. A
graduate of the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois, Chicago, Uhlir
is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, board member and treasurer of
NeighborSpace, and a member of Mayor Daley’s Parks and Open Space
Committee. He is also a recognized authority on park development, has lectured to
a wide variety of audiences and is the author of the recently published “Ark in the
Park, The Story of Lincoln Park Zoo.”

About 1st ACT Silicon Valley
1stACT Silicon Valley is a regional web of cross-sector leadership that is creating
a movement to: strengthen our economic, social and cultural vitality; fuel an
environment where creativity thrives; propel the next wave of innovation; and call
leaders into action. 1stACT’s mission is to bring leaders together to unleash the
creative power of Silicon Valley. 1stACT is guided by its founders: Rich Braugh,
senior vice-president investments, UBS; Bruce Davis, executive director, Arts
Council Silicon Valley; Roy Hirabayashi, managing director, San Jose Taiko; Raul
Lozano, executive director, Teatro Vision; Connie Martinez, executive director,
The Children’s Discovery Museum; and Ann Skeet, CEO, American Leadership
                                                                      Uhlir Presentation - 4

Forum –Silicon Valley.

About the Commonwealth Club of California
The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation's oldest and largest public
affairs forum, bringing together its more than 18,000 members for over 400 annual
events on topics ranging across politics, culture, society and the economy.
Founded in 1903, The Commonwealth Club has played host to a diverse and
distinctive array of speakers, from Teddy Roosevelt in 1911 to Erin Brockovich in
2001. Along the way, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Bill
Gates have all given landmark speeches at The Club. As a nonprofit, nonpartisan
educational organization, The Commonwealth Club relies on the support of its
membership, the Business Council and foundation grants to continue its role in
fostering open public discussion in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the
nation via radio, Internet and television. The Club has offices in San Francisco and
San Jose, with regular events in both cities, as well as programs in the East and
North Bay.

About the City of San Jose’s Office of Economic Development
The San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs is part of the City of San Jose's Office of
Economic Development (OED). OED is committed to a vital, competitive San
Jose economy that increases prosperity for people and companies and enhances
City revenues. The Office guides the City's economic strategy, provides assistance
for business success, helps connect employers with trained workers, and provides
art, sporting and cultural resources to our community. For more information,
please visit,

About the City of San Jose
                                                                       Uhlir Presentation - 5

From its founding in 1777 as California's first city, San Jose has been a leader,
driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San Jose stands as the largest city in
Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley—the world's leading center
of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S., is committed to remaining a
top-ranked place to do business, work, live, play and learn. For more information,

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