Yonah Freemark is a manager at the Chicago-based Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC). For more than 80 years, MPC has been partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area’s toughest planning and development challenges. Yonah currently focuses on policies to promote equitable transit-oriented development and transportation investment.
Yonah joined MPC as an associate in 2013 and became a project manager in 2014. He co-managed the Corridor Development Initiatives MPC undertook in Chicago’s Uptown and Logan Square communities. He led MPC’s research on the Illiana Expressway and the existing conditions of the public transportation network in Northeastern Illinois, in association with the state’s 2013 Transit Task Force.
Yonah attended Yale University as an undergraduate, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, with distinction. He later received masters’ degrees in city planning (MCP) and transportation (MST) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His city planning thesis focused on the work of New York’s Urban Development Corporation to construct mixed-income housing in the 1970s; his thesis for transportation analyzed transit farecard data to determine journey time impacts of disruption on the London Underground network.
He spent two years researching community engagement in Paris, where he studied the planning and construction of the Rive Gauche project, which is a model for neighborhood involvement in development decision-making. He also founded the national blog The Transport Politic, which has received dozens of mentions in the press and an award from Planetizen.
Yonah is a native of North Carolina, but he thoroughly enjoys Chicago’s beautiful lakefront and its residents’ friendliness and intellectual curiosity. He is a resident of Lakeview.