The closest thing that I have to a school-year cycle is my ongoing work for the Chicago District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

Last week, with “Defending the `Burbs: An Investment Outlook for Chicagoland Suburbs Compared to the CBD,” I began my fourth year of writing summaries for ULI Chicago at the monthly panel discussions it holds from Fall through Spring.

As I’ve noted in prior Tips From the Inside Edge, it’s a rewarding challenge to boil down an hour of discussion that ranges into topics that can at times be relatively new and loaded with nuances and acronyms that test my powers of distillation.

In other words, covering hundreds of government body meetings over the course of my 20-year journalism career prepared me well.

Over the past year, too, I have begun shooting brief video interviews with panelists to augment the summaries. You can check some of those clips out at ULI Chicago’s home page.

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