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June 2010 Blog posts

What's a state's role in promoting Sustainable Communities?

With Sustainable Communities Initiative resources coming out of Washington to promote competitive regions and strong interagency coordination, and with the the Livable Communities Act pending to further institutionalize and expand these investments, the State of Illinois is stepping up its own efforts to understand its optimal role in promoting both strong regions and interagency coordination. As a co-chair of this State “Linkage Working Group” effort, MPC is eager to hear your ideas on what can Illinois be doing better to support local efforts to align planning and investment around jobs, housing, transportation and land-use. At our last meeting, we heard presentations from Terry Kohlbuss and Janice Morrissy about their respective “ best practices” in the…

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Riverdale's Whistler Crossing: award-winning community, media darling

Michael Prischman

Peter Holsten and Riverdale Mayor Deyon Dean accept the Burnham Award from Joseph Gregoire.

At MPC's 2010 Annual Luncheon on Monday, MPC and the luncheon's Presenting Sponsor PNC awarded the 2010 Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning to the Whistler Crossing community in south suburban Riverdale, Ill. What was once the struggling community known as Pacesetter is now Whistler Crossing, a sprawling, 500-unit housing and retail development, with well-designed open space, on-site resident services, and green development hallmarks. In fact, Whistler Crossing is the first project in Illinois to achieve LEED-ND (Neighborhood Development) designation. For this reason and others, since Monday, the community has earned media attention from the following regional publications: SouthtownStar South Suburban News The Times of Northwest Indiana BisNow Chicago Congrats to Whistler…

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WGN reporters share their favorite undiscovered public places in Chicagoland

WGN Channel 9 reporter Marcus LeShock featured the MPC-CAF "What Makes Your Place Great? Your Secret Corner of Chicagoland" contest on yesterday evening's newscast. Watch the video to learn how you can enter this contest and see some great places submitted last year. To find out WGN reporters' favorite undiscovered places, read LeShock's blog post on ChicagoNow.

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MarySue's Midweek Links

For the past 20 years, I’ve read Chicago Sun-Times Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet’s probing political coverage and after all these years, she still amazes me. At the Metropolitan Planning Council’s Annual Luncheon on Monday, I was lucky enough to have a front row seat as Lynn skillfully interviewed Illinois’ U.S. Senate candidates Alexi Giannoulias (D), Mark Kirk (R), and LeAlan Jones (Green) for the edification – and sometimes entertainment – of nearly 900 Chicago-area corporate, civic, government and community leaders who attended our event. We were grateful for the wonderful turnout, but for those of you who were unable to attend here are some of the highlights from the candidate Q&As: Sweet wasted no time getting to the heart of the issues…

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Osaka Garden on Wooded Island in Jackson Park ... My favorite public spot

Osaka Garden view with the Museum of Science and Industry to the north

Many of Chicagoland’s most cherished public spaces are tucked away in the hearts of neighborhoods, known only to a lucky few. This summer, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) want to shine a spotlight on these special places across Chicagoland through the “What Makes Your Place Great? Your Secret Corner of Chicagoland” contest. From June 2 through July 26, 2010, entrants can e-mail original photos or videos showcasing their favorite undiscovered public places across Chicagoland, along with a 250-word-or-less description, to placemakingchicago@metroplanning.org. The four chosen winners will win a prize package that includes passes to the Brookfield Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, Chicago History Museum, or CAF – and the chance to…

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