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In the Loop: January 22, 2015

Sound Transit

Seattle’s East Link project recently received TIFIA financing from the federal government.

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) kicked off the new year with the release of our final report on the Logan Square Corridor Development Initiative, a community engagement process we conducted in 2014 in association with 35th Ward Alderman Rey Colón. It recommends several ways to construct transit-oriented development on the plaza above the Blue Line station entrance in the neighborhood, as well as the adjacent parking lot. The report summarizes the insight we gained from neighborhood residents who spent hours of their time developing concept plans for the future of their community. MPC staff have several events coming up in the…

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Happy 2015: Breathing new life into water supply planning in Northeastern Illinois

(Doug Kerr, Flickr Creative Commons)

This shot of Aurora, Ill. illustrates how much a part of our lives water is. It's important not to take such a precious resource for granted.

It’s always exciting to start a new job, and I am thrilled to join the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) team in 2015. What makes the transition even more exciting is the ability to announce that MPC and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning are reinvigorating regional water supply planning and implementation in 2015 as well. Earlier this month, the two organizations began co-facilitating water supply planning meetings for Northeastern Illinois, titled: Water 2050 Regional Forum. This regional initiative is part of an envisioned long-term effort (as outlined in an Action Plan by the Ill. Dept. of Natural Resources) to ensure prudent research and collaborative planning occurs statewide. As the most recent drought in 2012 demonstrated, Northeastern Illinois is not immune to…

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The results are in: Your recommendations for development in Logan Square

I'm excited to announce we've officially wrapped up our Corridor Development Initiative in Logan Square—please see the final report and the appendix here. Since the final meeting on Sept. 30, 2014, MPC staff and volunteers have been hard at work analyzing participants' many creative proposals for the Logan Square CTA Blue Line station plaza and adjacent parking lot. With more than 370 individual attendees, 333 online survey respondents and nearly 200 text polling participations, this was no easy task. The specific recommendations, financing specifications and design details can be found in the final report, but here's a summary of the primary recommendations: The station plaza and parking lot should be developed, but buildings on them should not rise higher than six…

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Gentrification? We'll see.

Andrew Seaman

Gentrification is a loaded word. Some conjure up images of Logan Square and Wicker Park’s hip boutiques, bars and restaurants, while others imagine neighborhoods that have revitalized tremendously with regards to amenities, public safety and school quality. For planning geeks like us, University of Illinois’ Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement December 2014 report “The Socioeconomic Change of Chicago’s Community Areas (1970-2010)” and corresponding Gentrification Index fits the bill. While the report is layered with data and metrics, a few points caught my attention and are described below. Simply put, I left the report realizing that while gentrification is an issue in this city, it is not as widespread as everyone believes and…

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Illinois remains the fifth most populous state—but for how long?

Cold temperatures always have Illinoisans asking, “Why do we live here?” But it turns out, for some, it’s more than just a flippant remark. New Census data reveals the state's population slumped by almost 10,000 people last year, making it one of only six states to lose population. Illinois remains the fifth most populous state in the nation. But Pennsylvania—with a growing population—is right on our heels, as Florida surpassed New York State this year to take the title of third most populous state. All of Illinois' neighboring states saw their population grow, with Indiana welcoming 26,142 new residents. Illinois’ problem is that people are leaving for other states. That’s not a new phenomenon; people move to other states from Illinois…

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