The City of Rockford and River District Association have partnered to bring to Rockford nationally-known author, speaker, certified city planner and cultural geographer Kyle Ezell.
Ezell is founder of Get Urban America, a Columbus, Ohio, urban planning firm dedicated to marketing an urban lifestyle within the dominant American suburban culture.
The purpose of bringing Ezell to Rockford is to host a series of events to educate individuals about how to live in an urban environment as well as showing the joys and benefits of it.
Ezell said: Americans would live downtown, if they only knew how. People take golf lessons because theyve never done it before. People have never lived in cities before. My mission is to teach them how.
Ezell will be in Rockford Sunday and Monday, Sept. 17-18, making several appearances to promote his message and new book, Retire Downtown: The Lifestyle Destination for Active Retirees and Empty Nesters.
Other books by Ezell include Get Urban! The Complete Guide to City Living and Teaching Urban Values.
Ezells schedule is as follows:
Sunday, Sept. 17Meet the author and book signing at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 6685 E. State St. Info: 399-8780.
Monday, Sept. 18Katies Cup conversation luncheon at noon at Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles St. Ezell will speak about retiring downtown as the top lifestyle destination for retirees and empty-nesters. Luncheon reservations are $10 and should be made with the Lutheran Ministries office by Thursday, Sept. 14. Info: 962-4279.
Monday, Sept. 18Keynote address and educational presentation to city and community leaders in City Council Chambers, second floor at City Hall, 425 E. State St., 3-4 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 18Ezells visit will conclude with a RUPPIE (Retired Urban People) Party, a social and educational event at Stewart Square inside the atrium, 308 W. State St., from 6 to 8:30 p.m. This event will provide an opportunity for people who are interested in moving downtown to talk with developers and apartment owners about present and planned downtown apartments and residential condominiums. Lenders will also be on hand to talk about mortgage financing and to answer questions. This event is free and open to the public. Complimentary food and a cash bar will be available. Ezell will make a presentation about urban living at 7 p.m. and be available afterward to meet and sign books.
Bringing Ezell to Rockford is a follow-up to the River Districts Urban Living Tour Aug. 26. With more than 400 people attending the Tour, organizers and host residents/developers heard comments from many people who expressed interest and enthusiasm about living downtown.
Info: Rick May, City of Rockford, 967-6737, or Kim Wheeler, River District Association, 964-6221.
From the Sept. 13-19, 2006, issue