Photo by Chantal Hayes
- By Randy Blankenhorn
- March 14, 2011
MPC is partnering with CMAP on a series of roundtables that focus on specific issues within GO TO 2040, the region’s new long-range plan to guide policy and investment decisions in northeastern Illinois through mid-century and beyond. The first roundtable, on Feb. 18, focused on how the public and private sectors can help to implement the plan, and the next event on March 25 will focus on how federal and state legislation can help our
Randy Blankenhorn, Executive Director, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Photo courtesy of CMAP
region to achieve its goals.
For metropolitan Chicago to maintain the strong, vibrant communities that are key to economic competitiveness, state and federal legislation can play important roles. The success of GO TO 2040 is influenced by federal choices about how to allocate billions in taxpayer dollars annually across a variety of different programs, services, and projects. The federal government also sets priorities and develops criteria for how funding flows to the state, regional, and local levels. The priorities stated in CMAP’s 2011 Federal Agenda include:
- Harmonizing federal grant program requirements to support more comprehensive approaches to policy decisions and capital investments and support a more robust investment in comprehensive planning. The federal government has demonstrated great promise in helping to implement plans such as GO TO 2040 by creating a set of guiding livability principles and the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a joint collaboration among the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, U.S. Housing and Urban Development, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and
- Creating a vision for a federal role in transportation that includes a national freight policy with dedicated funding and corridors of national significance.
Our state government is also important to the success of GO TO 2040. The state allocates nearly $50 billion per year across various program areas and plays a significant role in operating and maintaining the transportation system, promoting economic development, and maintaining and preserving our natural resources. CMAP’s 2011 State Agenda includes, in part:
- Supporting efficient governance and pursuing coordinated investments by modifying certain apportionment formulas, project selection criteria, and grant requirements to achieve performance-based goals;
- Establishing more robust statewide measures for allocating road fund and state construction account revenues. The measures should reinforce metropolitan regions as the economic catalyst of the state; and
- Removing barriers to water reuse—such as rainwater harvesting, graywater and wastewater reuse—for commercial and residential properties.
I hope you will come to the roundtable on March 25 to hear about how legislation can contribute to the implementation of GO TO 2040. Even if you cannot attend, please stay engaged in CMAP’s new Policy Updates blog and Moving Forward web space, both of which are devoted to the implementation of our region’s comprehensive plan.