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August Media Tips

MPC welcomes three Cabinet secretaries for Sept. 17 Annual Luncheon

Capping off a recent day-long discussion on the future of America’s metropolitan areas with the White House Office of Urban Affairs and Domestic Policy Council, President Barack Obama announced that members of his Cabinet will soon be visiting cities and regions across the U.S. “as part of a national conversation to lift up best practices from around the country, to look at innovations for the metropolitan areas of tomorrow.” The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is pleased to announce the “tour” will kick off in Chicago on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009, at MPC’s 2009 Annual Luncheon, “Connecting the Dots: Metropolitan Chicago’s Path to Prosperity.” Keynote speakers Shaun Donovan, secretary, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development; Lisa Jackson, administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and Ray LaHood, secretary, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, will discuss their agencies’ joint Sustainable Communities Initiative and other ways the Obama administration is supporting innovative and sustainable community development. The luncheon will take place from noon to 1:45 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, Regency Ballroom (West Tower), 151 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago. Reporters may register for this event, which also will mark MPC’s 75th anniversary, by contacting MPC Assistant Communications Director Mandy Burrell Booth, at mburrell@metroplanning.org or 312-863-6018. 

Finalists in MPC contest vie for Chicagoland’s favorite public place

What’s Chicagoland’s favorite public place? Through Sept. 14, 2009, everyone in the region is invited to vote online at PlacemakingChicago.com/places for their favorite of some 50 finalists in the “What Makes Your Place Great?” photo and video contest. To find the best places in Chicagoland, Placemaking Chicago, an MPC project, called on people in greater Chicagoland and northwest Indiana to submit a photo or video and written description of their favorite public place in the region. Winners will be announced Sept. 25. They will receive a prize package and be featured at an MPC event on Oct. 28. PlacemakingChicago.com features tips for creating great public places, as well as a Google map showing the location of each nominated great place – a fun guide for staycations and day trips.  

Behind the Numbers: Redevelopment opportunities in communities near Olympic venues

In coordination with the 2016 Fund for Chicago Communities, MPC has collected, analyzed and mapped data for communities that stand to be the most affected if Chicago wins the bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games (announcement to come Oct. 2). The Olympic Databook contains data for 11 communities, organized by the following categories: demographics, education, transit/accessibility, housing, building permits, economy, TIF and traffic, retail leakage, crime, parks, and land use. Here are some findings:

  • In Grand Boulevard, no building permits were granted in June of 2005 or 2006. In June of 2007 and 2008, only easy permit process and wrecking/demolition permits were granted.
  • Vacant parcels account for some 7.5 percent of the total area in North Lawndale; in most cases the value of the land is actually greater than the value of the properties sitting on it.
  • As of 2004, there were 2,515 vacant parcels in Englewood, totaling 9.9 million square feet. Vacant parcels occupied 11.5 percent of the total land area of the neighborhood. Englewood has the highest number of vacant parcels, largest amount of vacant land, and highest ratio of vacant land of any of the communities included in the Olympic Databook.
  • Dates to Watch

    August

    27: Illinois Tollway Board meeting, 10 a.m. to noon, Downers Grove 

    September
    9:
    Chicago Transit Authority Board meeting, 10 a.m. to noon, Chicago
    11: Metra Board meeting, 9 to 11 a.m., Chicago
    14: Final day to vote for Chicagoland’s favorite public place in the “What Makes Your Place Great?” contest. Visit PlacemakingChicago.com.
    15: Regional Transportation Authority Board meeting, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Chicago
    17: MPC Annual Luncheon: Connecting the Dots: Metropolitan Chicago’s Path to Prosperity. MPC will celebrate 75 years at our annual fundraiser. The program will feature keynote speakers Shaun Donovan, secretary, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development; Lisa Jackson, administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and Ray LaHood, secretary, U.S. Dept. of Transportation. Reporters may register for this event by contacting MPC Assistant Communications Director Mandy Burrell Booth, at mburrell@metroplanning.org or 312-863-6018.
    24: Illinois Tollway Board meeting, 10 a.m. to noon, Downers Grove
    For complete information about these and other events, visit MPC’s Web Calendar. For more story ideas, and contact information for MPC experts, visit our Newsroom.

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