In the spring of 2012, Nichole Lloyd and four of her children moved into their new home in south suburban Park Forest, Ill. Ms. Lloyd, a single mom, was able to purchase the newly renovated home—replete with brand new appliances, updated bathrooms, and other desirable features—thanks to Habitat for Humanity Chicago South Suburbs and funding MPC helped to secure for foreclosure recovery in that hard-hit area.
Since our founding in the 1930s, the Metropolitan Planning Council has been an independent voice for practical, positive change in the Chicago region. Our long and consistent history of success, in both good economic times and bad, has earned MPC a trusted reputation for identifying and analyzing critical issues, and building consensus on solutions. And while our mission and methods have evolved over our 78-year history, MPC remains fundamentally committed to improving access to opportunity and economic viability for all people in the Chicago region.
Nichole Lloyd and mother Sandra Cox in Ms. Lloyd's new home in Park Forest, Ill.
As we reflect on the nation's economic crisis, there are many lessons that will continue to shape the policy change the Metropolitan Planning Council advocates. Take, for example, our work on Interjurisdictional Collaboration. Communities and their residents, like Nichole Lloyd, are struggling to return to economic growth, in the face of devastating foreclosure trends, with fewer public resources to support them. Instead of pitting neighbors against each other for shrinking pieces of the pie, MPC has helped to bring them together, to coordinate their efforts for the benefit of the greater whole, targeting investment that will leverage sustained economic activity.
Another example is the work MPC has been doing to research and promote innovative financing strategies — such as congestion pricing and value sharing — for transportation infrastructure investment. With overwhelming needs dwarfing scant public dollars, MPC connects the private sector with the public sector to maximize resources. MPC and its partners are gaining traction in advocating for goal-oriented, right-sized and coordinated investment criteria to efficiently guide how funds are spent.
Those same investment principles guide our water work, which has become a more significant priority over the last few years. We are working both on the ground in local communities like Lake Zurich and Logan Square, and with state policymakers to manage our precious water resources more efficiently, and to mitigate the enormous financial and environmental costs of deferred infrastructure investment.
Throughout this Agenda in Action, which reports some of our recent accomplishments, you will learn more about how MPC uses policy research, advocacy and implementation strategies to advance the prosperity, equity and sustainability of this region. If you are already our partner, we genuinely appreciate your support. If you are new to our work, we welcome you to become more involved.
Chair, MPC Board of Governors