Events / The Power of Place: How The Built Environment Can Foster Community Belonging

The Power of Place: How The Built Environment Can Foster Community Belonging


The Obama Foundation, in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial, presents this free panel discussion as part of the Biennial's Talk Series.

Explore how the built environment can foster a more robust sense of belonging in communities that have experienced disinvestment, segregation, and population decline. Panelists will consider the challenges of built space and how good design can help facilitate resilience and sustainability.

Sharing examples of how certain cities or initiatives have used built space to strengthen community and to foster inclusion, revitalizing once-moribund neighborhoods, the panelists will seek to tease out how physical spaces can impact conceptions of home, wellbeing, and a sense of agency. At the same time, any conversation around social infrastructure must also contend with pressing issues of over-development and the specter of displacement.


  • Louise Bernard, Director, Obama Presidential Center Museum
  • Lee Bey, Architectural Photographer
  • David Doig, President, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives
  • Toni Griffin, Founder of urbanAC; Professor in Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Design
  • L. Anton Seals, Executive Director, Grow Greater Englewood


Moderated by WBEZ’s Natalie Moore. Capacity is limited and seating is first come, first serve—RSVP required


Green Line Performing Arts Center
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