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April 2012 Blog posts

In the Loop: April 27, 2012

Value capture is helping finance the redevelopment of Denver's Union Station.

In the Loop is your Friday round-up of what's going on in the transportation world, posted in conjunction with Talking Transit. @ MPC Want to know more about the new Loop (East-West) Bus Rapid Transit? Attend the open house on May 2. In D.C., conference is beginning on a federal transportation extension. Value Capture financing is helping Denver rehab its Union Station and Washington, D.C. expand transit, and MPC is harnessing technology to create better cities. Elsewhere Illinois took the first steps to rebuilding the Circle interchange and the City Council approved the Chicago Infrastructure Trust. (Here's a graphic explaining how it would work.) Bus tracker is helping students stay safe and two Chicago guys set a record for riding to every CTA station, noting development…

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President Clinton addresses energy efficiency and other economic recovery strategies

While in Chicago for the Nobel Peace Prize winners’ summit, President Bill Clinton addressed an audience of business and nonprofit leaders – including me – on domestic economic recovery, including workforce development and energy efficiency initiatives. The conversation will continue in Chicago June 7 and 8 at the Clinton Global Initiative America convening. President Clinton touched on a range of issues, from the need to invest in education and workforce development to the importance of a long-term national debt reduction plan. He challenged us to bring together business and government to make change through strong partnerships, and he pointed to his climate change initiative as an example: employers have agreed to retrofit their facilities to be more energy efficient,…

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Harnessing Technology for Strong Cities: MPC hosts the Urban Systems Collaborative

Ryan Griffin-Stegink

Frank Hebbert of Open Plans leads a discussion on software tools for civic engagement at the Urban Systems Collaborative

We shape our technology; thereafter it shapes us (to paraphrase an oft-abused Winston Churchill quote). We got a first-hand look at the relevance of technology to our work in 2011 when, with support from IBM, we sponsored a Placemaking apps contest within the larger Apps for Metro Chicago competition. It was a great year for open data: reams of information previously held close to the vest were being released at all levels of government, and citizen programmers were creating apps at a breakneck clip. Many of these apps had elements of Placemaking in that they helped people identify and learn about places that already exist. Our goal, though, was to use technology as a platform for interaction by equipping people with the tools to actually create places that matter to them. The winning…

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Lake County housing development financed through Regional Housing Initiative wins Gail Cincotta Award

Courtesy Brinshore Development LLC

Brinshore Development is the developer of the award-winning A Safe Place II in Lake County, as well as Emerson Square in Evanston, Ill. (rendering above), both of received financing support through the Regional Housing Initiative.

At the Illinois Governor’s Housing Conference on April 16, Noelle Moore, executive director of A Safe Place—a Chicago-based nonprofit that supports women and children who have experienced domestic violence—accepted the Gail Cincotta Award for A Safe Place II, the organization's first permanent housing community. The Lake County development was financed in part through the Regional Housing Initiative (RHI), which provides financial incentives, via operating subsidies, to developers and owners of quality rental housing. Representing Brinshore Development, LLC, the company that served as the developer to this terrific nonprofit, I am honored that A Safe Place II has been recognized as a model for "innovation and excellence in affordable housing." It truly is a terrific…

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Attend May 2 open house on Central Loop (East-West) Bus Rapid Transit project

Photo courtesy Gerardo Arevalo Tamayo

Want to learn more about the Central Loop (East-West) Bus Rapid Transit project? Mark your calendar for an open house on the project, next Wednesday, May 2, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. The Chicago Dept. of Transportation (CDOT), in partnership with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward), invites you to attend the open house to learn more about this new bus service, which will provide riders with fast and reliable connections throughout the central business district—from Union Station and Ogilvie Transportation Center, through the Loop, and up to Streeterville and Navy Pier. The open house begins at 5 p.m. with the following program: Open session: 5 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Attendees…

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