The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s (CMAP) comprehensive plan for northeastern Illinois, GO TO 2040, was approved in October 2010. Now the region’s collective challenge is how to implement it.
With a $4.25 million grant from the Sustainable Communities Initiative, CMAP will be able to meet that challenge in part by providing an unprecedented level of direct technical assistance to communities. Specifically, on March 9, CMAP announced its selection of 64 “higher priority” projects throughout Chicago, suburban Cook County, and the collar counties.
This is huge. Technical assistance at the local level moves a massive plan off the shelf and gives it legs—40 of them to be exact, because CMAP is in the process of hiring 10 new staff and redirecting the work of 10 existing staff to assist municipalities, counties, COGs, and community groups in implementing local projects that embody the goals of GO TO 2040.
When CMAP put out a request for proposals early this year, the response was overwhelming: More than 130 applications from around the region with 220 distinct project requests were received, ranging from comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, corridor plans, and housing analyses. These are exactly the types of projects intended to be addressed by the Local Planning Technical Assistance Act that, while approved by the Illinois General Assembly back in 2002, was never funded. Demand has only grown since then. Clearly, CMAP is tapping into an unmet need for technical assistance and a desire by local communities to be sustainable, equitable, and economically competitive. They just can’t always get there on their own.
Not all of the priority projects will receive technical assistance immediately; projects will be phased in over the next nine months. Read more about all of the projects and the evaluation criteria used for selection.
MPC is proud to be a partner on several projects prioritized by CMAP in its first round:
- The Bronzeville Alliance’s retail corridor planning. MPC is assisting the Retail Initiative of the Alliance in analyzing the area’s supply and demand data, determining a retail plan accordingly for the 43rd, 47th and 51st street corridors that incorporate Transit-Oriented Development, and coordinating these efforts across the 3rd and 4th wards.
- Integrated water resources management planning in Lake Zurich. Along with the Center for Neighborhood Technology and CMAP, MPC will assist the Village of Lake Zurich to develop a coordinated plan for the area’s water supply, wastewater, and stormwater management.
- Olympia Fields’ comprehensive plan, which will incorporate the Metropolitan Mayors’ Caucus’ Homes for a Changing Region project. Homes for a Changing Region, which MPC supports and helps to staff, assists municipalities in charting future demand and supply trends for housing in their communities, and creating plans that provide a balanced housing supply and livable communities.
- In conjunction with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, three interjurisdictional housing projects that all incorporate Homes for a Changing Region into their housing and land use planning:
Kudos to CMAP for executing the delivery of technical assistance on such a grand scale! This is a tremendous step forward for the livability of our region.