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(Ready any day now for) The Future of Water Reuse


Gary Hunter of Black & Veatch presents at our Roundtable on Tuesday, Oct. 14.

For nearly a decade, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has advocated for modernizing Illinois’ policies on water reuse as an integral part of creating a comprehensive approach to water supply planning and management. Through research-backed policy recommendations documents like Troubled Waters (2006) and Immeasurable Loss (2012) MPC has pushed for changes like modernization of the Illinois Plumbing Code to facilitate non-potable water reuse. Over the years we have come close to systemic reform that would unlock the marketplace for systems capable of reusing a building's water, but haven’t quite gotten over the hump. As our region’s aquifers, river and Lake Michigan distribution system face a whole host of stresses, having all available water resources management…

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H2Oktoberfest: Institutionalizing adaptation in water supply management

Northeastern Illinois has unique water supply and use issues - every region does. That's why a statewide framework for regional water supply planning will help us develop specific plans for specific circumstances.

This October (and in September, much like real Oktoberfest) the Metropolitan Planning Council’s Josh Ellis is speaking at four conferences about different aspects of MPC’s water resources management work. At the same time, the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread recently culminated six years of its Charting New Waters program, releasing a vision and set of guiding principles requiring “collaborative leadership across sectors and scales.” As Josh explores throughout this series, MPC and its partners are realizing that vision here in northeastern Illinois, with lessons that can be brought to bear well beyond the banks of the Fox River and the shores of Lake Michigan. Last week I was down in New Orleans focused on stormwater issues at WEFTEC. This week I had the great…

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Biking and pedestrian improvements top list of ideas for North Lake Shore Drive redesign

Chrissy Mancini Nichols

Chicagoans and visitors enjoy the beautiful lakefront

I love to end the day biking home on the lakefront path. I’m lucky to live in a city where I can both commute and workout at the same time (especially on a windy day!) all the while enjoying Chicago’s masterpiece, Lake Michigan. And I’m not alone, up to 31,000 people compete for the 20-foot wide lakefront path every day. That’s a lot of walkers, bikers, joggers, parents with children and strollers, tourists, dog walkers and rollerbladers navigating such a narrow space. It’s an interesting juxtaposition to look out at the peaceful blue waters of Lake Michigan surrounded by the chaos of the path. With my first-hand experience of all things amazing about the lakefront (as well as the things that need improvement), I was excited to join the North Lake Shore…

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In the Loop: October 16, 2014

Shannon Orem (cc)

Atlanta's Arts Center MARTA transit station, where new development may be allowed on top thanks to the agency's willingness to allow 99-year ground leases.

In the Loop is your round-up of what’s going on in the transportation world, posted in conjunction with Talking Transit. @metroplanners news The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is buzzing with transportation-related activities. MPC’s Logan Square Corridor Development Initiative wrapped up last month with a final meeting that attracted more than 200 attendees, who came to share their thoughts about potential transit-oriented development on and around the plaza at the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Blue Line station. MPC released the results of its study of the economic impacts of Chicago’s People Spot program, which is bringing new spaces for relaxation and leisure to neighborhoods across the city by replacing parking spaces with places for sitting. People Spots,…

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Blue Island means Blue Water: Partnering for success on stormwater in one Illinois community

Jason Berry

Governor Quinn (center) poses with Mayor Vargas (left) of Blue Island after announcing a major investment in green infrastructure for Blue Island

Exciting news came to the City of Blue Island last Saturday as Governor Pat Quinn stopped by on a sunny fall afternoon to announce $1.1 million in investments from the state on stormwater management and green infrastructure. The announcement builds upon several years of momentum on stormwater issues in Blue Island, which lies just south of Chicago in the area now known as the Millennium Reserve. This momentum leverages expertise, funding and the energy of local community members to tackle stormwater at every scale and make a positive impact on a neighborhood. Blue Island’s progress over the years provides a great case study of what can be brought to bear on stormwater with the right collaborations and attention. Attending the Governor’s press event made me reflect on the need…

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For 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area’s toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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