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Blog posts by Josh Ellis

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Water Matters in Wilmette, but challenges abound
  • By Josh Ellis and MPC Research Assistant Daniel Wolf
  • Mar 17, 2015
On Sunday, March 8, the community group Go Green Wilmette held its ninth annual fair to raise awareness in the community about environmentalism and sustainability with this year’s theme being “Water Matters.” Wilmette, like a lot of other communities in the Chicago area, has been…
100+ reasons to be excited about Great Rivers Chicago
“Chicago’s second lakefront.” That’s a line we often hear about the potential for Chicago’s rivers (and when I say “rivers,” I mean all of them: the Chicago and all its reaches, plus the Calumet system and a stretch of the Des Plaines) to be cleaner, more…
Weather resilience workshops: Save the date!
  • By Josh Ellis and MPC Research Assistant Kelsey Pudlock
  • Feb 10, 2015
On behalf of the Northeastern Illinois Resilience Partnership, the City of Chicago, Cook County and DuPage County are hosting a series of community workshops throughout the Chicagoland area to address the region’s resilience to extreme weather events, particularly rainstorms that result in…
Measurable success! Illinois modernizes Lake Michigan water use rules
186,000 miles per second. One mile per 4.689 seconds. 40 miles per hour. Forever. Those are, of course, the actual speed of light and sound, the max running speed of a white-tailed deer (Illinois’ state mammal) and the apparent speed of policy in change in Illinois sometimes. To the best of…
Houston, we have a solution: Low Impact Development
  • By Josh Ellis and MPC Research Assistant Daniel Wolf
  • Feb 3, 2015
Stormwater was once seen as a nuisance to be disposed of as quickly and invisibly as possible. But this past week in Houston, Texas, engineers, planners and elected officials came together to confer on Low Impact Development, the practice of mimicking nature in order to manage stormwater. From the…
Floodlothian Midlothian makes waves in 2015
  • By Josh Ellis and MPC Research Assistants Kelsey Pudlock and Daniel Wolf
  • Jan 30, 2015
“Merry Christmas & a flood-free new year!” reads the lawn sign posted outside the house of Helen Lekavich of Midlothian, Ill., a southern suburb of Chicago. The community group Floodlothian Midlothian, which Lekavich founded with neighbors, raises awareness of the Village of…
Three things I learned in 2014
2014 was an informative year—whether I truly learned things, or whether the machinations of the year simply jarred long lost lessons from yore, is sort of irrelevant. Whatever the case, I enter 2015 with a few significant lessons/reminders under my belt, and am eager for more moving…
H2Oktoberfest: Four reasons water use is falling in Northeastern Illinois
This October (and in September, much like real Oktoberfest) the Metropolitan Planning Council’s Josh Ellis spoke 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…
What does “government efficiency” mean, anyway?
  • By Josh Ellis and MPC Research Assistant Zoe Chapin
  • Dec 8, 2014
We often think of government as a feedback loop: Resident concerns, needs and tax dollars go in, government policies and services come out. If government efficiency were a mode of transportation on this loop, it would be a sleek passenger train, providing mass service quickly, effectively and…
Holiday gift ideas from MPC—2014 edition
In years past we've shared fun, unique holiday gift ideas for your friends and family that also resonate with MPC's mission of building a more socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically competitive region. For the next three weeks we'll be adding new ideas to this…

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