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Cross-Border Collaboration

Promoting the mega-regional economy of metropolitan Gary, Chicago and Milwaukee

Photo by NASA

The issue: Zero-sum mindset threatens mega-region's economy

To hear the pundits tell it, we live in a zero sum world: You win, they lose—and vice versa. Yet in this global economy, regions inextricably bound by economic assets such as transportation networks, waterways and workforces cannot afford to squabble internally over crumbs.

Spanning northwestern Indiana, northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin, the Tri-State mega-region has enormous economic potential.

Such is the reality for the Milwaukee-Chicago-Gary mega-region. In 2012, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), commissioned by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, released a groundbreaking analysis that identified strong economic potential for the 14- to 21-county area straddling northeastern Illinois, southeastern Wisconsin and northwestern Indiana. The review also exposed a host of policy and governance barriers to realizing this region's full economic potential.

The solution: Collaborate to achieve mega-region's full economic potential

MPC recognizes the economic interdependence of communities from southeastern Wisconsin to northwestern Indiana, and has worked on the Gary Region Investment Project for three years to identify transformative investments in the Gary area. To expand on this work, MPC is partnering with the Tri-State Alliance—formed by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce as a result of OECD's 2012 analysis—as well as with organizations in Indiana and Wisconsin to identify and advance catalytic partnerships and investments in housing, transportation and water resources.

The benefits:

  • Coordinate capital investments and planning to avoid redundancy and waste
  • Capitalize on strengths of individual regions while positioning the mega-region as a whole for growth
  • Keep our mega-region relevant in a global economy by promoting a coherent, region-wide strategic business plan

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Collaborators

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
One Region
Regional Development Authority
Alliance for Regional Development

Research

Territorial Review of the Chicago Tri-State Metropolitan Area, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, March 2012
Gary and Region Investment Project Report, March 2011

For more information

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
P 312 922 5616 F 312 922 5619 info@metroplanning.org
Helping create competitive, equitable, and sustainable communities

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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