A speaker series honoring Robert Taylor 

CIVIQ is a quarterly event which introduces and humanizes national and international movements in urban design by showcasing visionary work being done by practitioners in other cities.
With each free and public event, we aim to position Chattanoogans of all stripes to leave inspired, informed, and activated. More than a lecture, each event is intended to equip the city to think differently about challenges faced in our community. 

Upcoming Speakers

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Liz Ogbu: spatial justice

November 14th, 2019

A designer, urbanist, and social innovator, Liz is an expert on sustainable design and spatial innovation in challenged urban environments globally. She is founder and principal of Studio O, a multidisciplinary innovation practice that works within communities in need globally to use the power of design to catalyze sustained social impact. Her work blends empathy and human-centered research methodologies, creative engagement practices, architecture and equitable development principles, cross-disciplinary design thinking framework, and social and spatial justice agendas. Liz earned her Bachelor of Arts in architecture from Wellesley College and Master of Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

Past Speakers

Matthew Lister: Places for People

September 4th, 2019

Matthew is a creative urban place maker, real estate development strategist, and designer. As a Managing Director at Gehl in New York, he focuses on the intersection of real estate strategy and the design and activation of great public spaces. Often working at multiple scales with both private and public clients, he works to develop aspirational yet economically sustainable and implementable solutions. Matthew also brings an expertise in collaborative engagement with diverse communities in the urban change and development process. Matthew is a visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute in New York City.



May 2nd, 2019

Gena is a Registered Landscape Architect and the Design Principal at SCAPE. Trained in landscape architecture, urban planning and horticulture, Gena draws from her interdisciplinary training to create ecologically rich and culturally relevant landscapes from the infrastructural scale to the site level. Gena leads the design on several significant projects in the office.

Gena holds a Master of Landscape Architecture and Master of Urban Planning with Distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from the University of Delaware.


Victor dover: the art of street design

February 28th, 2019

Victor Dover serves as principal-in-charge for many of the firm's design and planning projects. He has led more than 150 charrettes. Victor lectures widely around the nation on the topics of livable communities and sustainable development, and was national chair of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) from 2010 to 2012. He recently coauthored, with John Massengale, the bestselling book Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns (Wiley 2014). Victor has been awarded the John Nolen Medal for contributions to urbanism, and is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Miami.


florence williams: the nature fix

November 8th, 2018

Florence Williams is a journalist, bestselling author, podcaster and public speaker. She is a contributing editor at Outside Magazine and a freelance writer for the New York TimesNew York Times MagazineNational Geographic, The New York Review of BooksSlate, Mother Jones and numerous other publications. She is also the writer and host of the new Audible Original series, Breasts Unbound, as well as Outside Magazine’s Double-X Factor podcast. Her public speaking includes keynotes at Google, the Smithsonian, the Seattle Zoo, the Aspen Ideas Festival and many other corporate, academic and nonprofit venues.


Veronica o. Davis: people-centric planning

August 2nd, 2018

Veronica has experience in both urban planning and civil engineering. She is a transportation guru who uses her knowledge to spark progressive social change. As Co-owner and Principal of Nspiregreen, she is also responsible for the management of the major urban planning functions such as transportation planning, policy development, master planning, sustainability analysis, and long range planning. She is a registered professional engineer in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.

In July 2012, Veronica was recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House for her professional accomplishments and community advocacy, which includes co-founding Black Women Bike.


Chuck Marohn: neighborhoods first

May 3rd, 2018

Charles Marohn - known as "Chuck" to friends and colleagues - is a Professional Engineer (PE) licensed in the State of Minnesota and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). He is the Founder and President of Strong Towns. 
Marohn has a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute.
Marohn is the lead author of Thoughts on Building Strong Towns — Volume 1Volume 2  and Volume 3 — as well as the author of A World Class Transportation System. He hosts the Strong Towns Podcast and is a primary writer for Strong Towns’ web content. He has presented Strong Towns concepts in hundreds of cities and towns across North America and in 2017 was named one of the 10 Most Influential Urbanists of all time by Planetizen.


ryan gravel: where we want to live

February 8th, 2018 

Ryan Gravel, AICP, LEED AP, is an urban planner, designer, and author working on site design, infrastructure, concept development, and public policy as the founding principal at Sixpitch. His master’s thesis in 1999 was the original vision for the Atlanta Beltline, a 22-mile transit greenway that with fifteen years of progress, is changing both the physical form of his city and the decisions people make about living there. Now a $4 billion public-private investment in the early stages of implementation, the project’s health and economic benefits are already evident through record-breaking use of its first section of mainline trail and $3.1 billion of private sector redevelopment since 2005.


Jarrett walker: transit truths

November 16th, 2017

Named as one of Planetizen's "100 Most Influential Urbanists," Jarrett Walker is an internationally recognized guru in transit design. As a consultant, he is challenged to seek efficiency among a complex and ever-changing network of constraints faced by municipal transit systems. As an urbanist, he sees transit as a tool enrich communities.

About Robert Taylor

Rob Taylor was an inaugural staff member of the Chattanooga Urban Design Studio established in 1981, where he worked as an urban designer. In 1998 he established CityScape, a consulting firm offering project management services as owner’s representative for institutional and governmental clients for coordination of real estate development projects. Rob served as Director of Urban Planning and Development for River City Company from 1990-1998. He is also a former Board Chair of the Lyndhurst Foundation. CIVIQ was established to honor Mr. Taylor’s commitment to using urban design to make Chattanooga a great city for all.