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September 2009 Blog posts

Riverdale mixed-income community earns award

Congratulations to Riverdale’s Pacesetter Gardens/Whistler Crossing and the development team for being selected to win the Richard H. Driehaus Preservation Award for Rehabilitation. The Metropolitan Planning Council has been a proud supporter of this historic redevelopment effort. Originally built in the 1960’s as worker housing, the Pacesetter community was comprised of individually-owned townhomes, which over time, fell into severe disrepair. The Village staff engaged the Urban Land Institute-Chicago and MPC to develop recommendations for the Village on how to improve the site. Following a two-day panel and quarterly follow-up sessions, the panel of volunteer development, finance, and planning experts advised the Village not to tear the property down as originally proposed,…

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By Kathy Hopinkah Hannan I am very proud to me a new member of the MPC Board of Governors and am looking forward to getting engaged. It really is an exciting time to join MPC. I have always been exceptionally proud of Chicago and understand that the success of Chicago is a result of the planning and input by people who share a common passion, committment and can-do attitude. Being at the luncheon and hearing from long standing members of MPC once again confirms that MPC has IMPACT! Editor's note: Kathy is Midwest Area Managing Partner for Tax Services for KPMG. As a new member of MPC's Board of Governors, she wanted to share her enthusiasm after our Annual Luncheon on Sept. 17.

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Winners of MPC's "What Makes Your Place Great?" photo and video contest to be announced on Chicago Tonight

From June 3 to July 27, 2009, dozens of people from around the region entered their favorite public space in the “What Makes Your Place Great?” photo and video contest. The more than 50 finalists were then opened to the public for online voting. Between Aug. 10 and Sept. 14, two People's Choice winners were selected by more than 8,000 individual votes, and two Grand Prize winners were chosen by a panel of Placemaking experts. The four winners will be announced on Chicago Tonight, WTTW Channel 11, on Sept. 23 at 7:00 p.m. If you miss Chicago Tonight, check out on Friday, Sept. 25, to see the winning entries. The winning entries not only will win bragging rights to the best public space in Chicagoland, but also a prize package that includes tickets…

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Transit benefit ordinance gaining attention in Chicago

On Sept. 14, business leaders, elected officials, agency representatives, and transportation advocates from around the region learned about San Francisco’s Commuter Benefits Ordinance – a concept designed to encourage transit use, improve regional mobility, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save people money. Effective January 2009, any company in San Francisco with 20 or more employees must offer their workers pre-tax incentives to ride transit or participate in company-run vanpool services for their daily commutes to or from work. The program saves participants more than $1,000 every year and can save employers 10 percent or more on payroll taxes. Since the program was first put into effect, San Francisco’s transit agencies saw an increase in ridership by more…

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Water supply shouldn’t be a buzzer beater issue

Michael Jordan, who was all over the news recently before his Hall of Fame induction on Sept. 11, provides the Chicago region with an invaluable cautionary tale for our water supply issues (which are also all over the news these days: check out Robert Glennon, a University of Arizona professor, who was in the Washington Post on Aug. 23 and on the Daily Show before that). MJ was always the insurance policy—“Down 10 with a minute on the clock? It’ll be OK, we’ve got Michael. Just give him the ball.” It usually worked, and then suddenly it didn’t. He retired, and neither the Bulls nor the fans were prepared. Since his retirement, the Bulls have been… less than great. We tend to think about Lake Michigan the same way—“Aging…

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