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News release


Citizen Schools Brings Students and Real Estate Professionals Together to Re-Imagine Columbia Point and Government Center

BOSTON, MA, February 6, 2009 -  Boston middle school students have been working with volunteers from nine leading real estate firms, organizations and institutions on plans for Boston's future.  Eighteen student representatives with volunteers presented their ideas to Mayor Thomas Menino at City Hall as part of Citizen Schools' Design & Development Apprenticeship.
The presentation was the culmination of the seventh annual urban planning ideas competition that engages over 100 middle-schoolers each year.  Nine teams of students, real estate professionals, and Citizen Schools staff worked together to create a vision for public open spaces including Dorchester's Columbia Point, the city's Government Center complex, and a classroom at the John W. McCormack Middle School in Dorchester. Citizen Schools is a nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to extend the learning day for low-income children. 
"It is always a pleasure to invite Citizen Schools students to City Hall to share their ideas with my team," said Mayor Menino.  "It's inspirational to see such a deep collaboration between our City's youth and professionals, and the high-caliber work produced!"
The seven Columbia Point project teams focused on creating eco-friendly designs and programs for the green space in the proposed mixed-use development Bayside Center, improving connections between the publicly-accessible Harbor Walk and the UMASS Campus Center, and integrating a new bike and pedestrian path from the JFK/UMASS MBTA Station to UMASS.  The Repurposing Government Center team showed an environmentally-friendly mixed-use master plan with commercial, residential, retail and recreation components.
Participating firms and institutions with teams were: Jones Lang LaSalle, Cubellis, Goody Clancy, Harvard School of Design, ICON Architecture, Altitude, Inc., Paul Lukez Architecture, Payette, and Shepley Bulfinch.
Students in the program were encouraged to think creatively about balancing functionality with aesthetics and budgetary concerns, and designing public spaces that appeal to the interests and needs of various stakeholders.
"This project focused on helping students think about designing spaces to increase public accessibility and enjoyment, and on bringing the youth perspective to the planning debate.  By offering young people a high-profile stage to share their ideas, their self confidence and ability to express themselves grows too," said John Werner, Managing Director of Citizen Schools.  "We're thrilled to have the support of Boston's architecture and development community in order to make this all happen."
According to Jones Lang LaSalle Managing Director Rob Dickey: "More Boston companies are taking an active interest in the next generation's role in our built environment. The program has grown significantly. The new curriculum we're developing will attract even greater corporate participation in the future."
Other institutions involved in the project in planning and advisory roles: Boston Redevelopment Authority, Carol Johnson Associates, Chan Krieger Sieniewicz, Columbia Point Task Force, Community Design Resource Center, Corcoran Jennison, Crosby Schlessinger Smallridge, Schneider Studio, UMASS Boston.
About Citizen Schools
Founded in Boston in 1995, Citizen Schools is a leading nonprofit national education initiative that uniquely mobilizes thousands of adult volunteers to help improve student achievement by teaching skill-building apprenticeships after school. The organization's programs blend these real-world learning projects with rigorous academic and leadership development activities, preparing students in the middle grades for success in high school, college, the workforce, and civic life. Citizen Schools currently operates at 44 middle schools in seven states, serving 3,800 students and engaging 2,800 volunteers nationwide.
Citizen Schools has been named as a national winner of Fast Company magazine's Social Capitalist Award three times and was chosen as a winner of the Skoll Foundation's Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2005.  Learn more about Citizen Schools' programs, results, and plan to advance the after-school field at
About Citizen Schools Design and Development Apprenticeship
The Citizen Schools Design and Development apprenticeship is an urban planning ideas competition engaging more than 100 youth from middle schools throughout Boston.  For 10 weeks each fall, the students collaborate with volunteer architecture and development professionals and Citizen Schools staff to re-envision Boston's built environment and public open spaces, developing plans and models for projects in different city neighborhoods.

About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate. The firm offers integrated services delivered by expert teams worldwide to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying or investing in real estate. With 2007 global revenue of $2.7 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle serves clients in 60 countries from 750 locations worldwide, including 180 corporate offices. The firm is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of approximately 1.2 billion square feet worldwide. LaSalle Investment Management, the company's investment management business, is one of the world's largest and most diverse in real estate with $53 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit our Web site,
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