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Josh Ellis

Background

Josh has been with MPC since 2006. He directs MPC’s sustainability initiatives, most notably in the fields of Stormwater Mitigation and Water Supply Management. Through on-the-ground initiatives like the Milwaukee Avenue Green Development Corridor, technical assistance to the Northwest Water Planning Alliance, and facilitation of diverse stakeholder groups working at the state level to modernize the Illinois Plumbing Code or establish a more robust regional water supply planning process, he leads MPC's multiple strategies to sustainably manage Illinois' finite water resources and reduce the harmful impacts of stormwater. 

He leads many of MPC's research projects, including Immeasurable Loss: Modernizing Lake Michigan Water Use, Bus Rapid Transit: Chicago's New Route to Opportunity, and Before the Wells Run Dry. He also coordinates MPC's research assistant program, of which he himself is an alumnus.

A New Hampshire native, Josh resides in Chicago’s South Loop. He managed a small school in Japan before his graduate studies in public policy and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago.  His honors thesis, published in Water, Environmental Security and Sustainable Rural Development: Conflict and Cooperation in Central Eurasia, compared the political discourse of marsh restoration in southeastern Iraq with the environmental history of the region.

Josh is a Board member of the Greater South Loop Association, as well as Poder, which serves adult immigrants with a mission to provide the necessary academic tools to promote human dignity, increase employment potential, and facilitate participation in the larger community. 

Articles

A Fork in the River: New video explores future of our waterways
It's been about a year since Asian carp hit the news in a big way. Here in the Chicago region our most notorious invasive species may have slipped from the front pages, but elsewhere in the broader Great Lakes region they are still very much on people's minds. Fortunately for everyone involved,…
It’s only 2010, but today you can GO TO 2040
Think for a moment about what our region could be in 2040. More transit choices? Doable. Safer neighborhoods? Possible. Cleaner water? Sure, if we work at it. Whatever our goals for tomorrow and the future, we need a plan to get there. Fortunately for northeastern Illinois, we now have one –…
Charting a new course for the Chicago River
The Chicago River has been in the public eye in the past few weeks, a spotlight it too rarely enjoys. First, the Obama Adminstration came down on the side of disinfection; Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley subsequently reiterated his ongoing support enhanced treatment and a cleaner river. Asian carp…
New MPC and Openlands report tackles Illinois water supply concerns
MPC and Openlands, both longtime advocates for sustainable water supply management, have released Before the Wells Run Dry: Ensuring Sustainable Water Supplies in Illinois, a joint report with recommendations for improving local and regional water supply planning and conservation strategies across…
Chicago Community Databook

In coordination with the 2016 Fund for Chicago Neighborhoods, during the summer of 2008, MPC collected, analyzed and mapped data for communities that stood to be the most affected if Chicago won the bid. Despite the International Olympic Committee's decision, MPC’s Community Databook remains a useful resource for these communities, which are ripe for redevelopment.

More articles »

Photo of Josh Ellis

Contact

Josh Ellis Program Director
312 863 6045

Areas of expertise

  • State, regional and local water resources management
  • Stormwater infrastructure and planning
  • Transit-oriented development
  • Community and economic development
  • Natural resources and environmental policy

Education

M.P.P., Public Policy, University of Chicago
M.A., Middle Eastern Studies, University of Chicago
B.A., English Literature, College of William and Mary

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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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