Chicago Mayor Emanuel Pondering New Sign Regulations in Trump Fallout

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced his intentions to create ordinances that would prevent future design controversies like the maligned Trump sign above the Chicago River.

1 minute read

June 27, 2014, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"A ban on any new high-rise signs facing the downtown riverfront is one of three options being considered by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to prevent developers from erecting signs like the one Donald Trump put on his Chicago skyscraper," a spokesperson for Mayor Emanuel announced earlier this week.

The announcement is included in an update on the controversy from Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin, whose been wrapped up in the controversy after voicing criticisms of the sign and provoking unkind comments by Donald Trump.

"Mayor Emanuel’s vision for the river as the city’s next recreational and tourism space requires a rethinking of current city ordinances governing signage in this area," said the spokeswoman, Kelley Quinn, is quoted in the article.

Among the promised "rethinking of current city ordinances," Kamin mentions the following:

  • "Changing the city’s zoning code to limit high-rise building signs to no more than one sign per building, which may not face the riverfront."
  • "Creating a special sign district for the Chicago River corridor." 
  • "Amending the standards and guidelines in the zoning code for 'planned developments.'"

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 in Chicago Tribune

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Street scene in Greenwich Village, New York City with people walking through busy intersection and new WTC tower in background.

Planning for Accessibility: Proximity is More Important than Mobility

Accessibility-based planning minimizes the distance that people must travel to reach desired services and activities. Measured this way, increased density can provide more total benefits than increased speeds.

April 14, 2024 - Todd Litman

Wood-frame two-story rowhouses under construction.

Fair Housing Cannot Take a Back Seat to ‘Build, Baby, Build’

If we overlook fair housing principles in the plan to build US housing back better, we risk ending up right back where we started.

April 11, 2024 - James Jennings

"No 710" lawn sign on green lawn.

LA Metro Board Approves New 710 Freeway Plan

The newest plan for the 710 corridor claims it will not displace any residents.

April 22 - Streetsblog LA

Close-up of row of electric cars plugged into chargers at outdoor station.

Austin’s Proposed EV Charging Rules Regulate Station Locations, Size

City planners say the new rules would ensure an efficient distribution of charging infrastructure across the city and prevent an overconcentration in residential areas.

April 22 - Austin Monitor

Green hills with orange California poppies in bloom in foreground in Chino Hills State Park, California.

Making California State Parks More Climate-Resilient

A recently released report offers recommendations for keeping state parks healthy and robust, including acquiring additional land for conservation and recreation.

April 22 - Spectrum News 1

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.