In representing local governments and civic groups, I am known as an advocate for quality urban design — from many presentations, writings and public testimony on land use and community appearance issues.  I believe that design review can be an effective process when conducted in a professional and fair manner.


As the founder of the Municipal Design Review Network now sponsored by DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute and currently the state liaison for the national Scenic America organization , I know the best practices for improving design review.   Through my broad experience with Boards of Directors and civic commissions, I am able to discretely advise local government staff and officials regarding the most effective organization for urban design and architectural review — and to support economic development.


Publications can be important in coordinating the interests of municipal staff and local business.  I am the author of Community Appearance Regulation: Municipal Design Review Practices in Metropolitan Chicago, for anyone interested in urban design issues. It covers economic considerations and compares processes and current issues through case studies and research.  I have also authored many professional articles and publications as an advocate for community design, including coordination of statewide surveys for historic preservation and conservation issues.

In 2014, John has presentations scheduled for national program-audiences sponsored by Scenic America and the American Planning Association regarding best practices for design review. (see About page)