A collaborative journalism series with WBEZ - Metropolitan Planning Council

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A collaborative journalism series with WBEZ

Monthly conversations explore urban design, population trends, and current events from around the region. These are the places, spaces, and ideas that make Chicagoland special

The trick about urbanism is that it's all around us. We trod sidewalks where, below and above, wires and pipes knit together our region. We pool our resources to improve the place we live. Grassroots placemakers make bold, visionary change. There's a language: trains, roads, ponds, runnels, broadband. Taken together, it's infrastructure, the fabric of our community. 

That's why early this spring the Metropolitan Planning Council partnered with our Chicago NPR affiliate, WBEZ, for an ongoing conversation series about urbanism, infrastructure, and policy in our region. Some of the most groundbreaking change—the stuff that affects millions of faucets and commutes and futures—you may not yet be familiar with.

Monthly since March, we've brought together leaders and idea makers to have a chat on the midday "Reset" program with Sasha-Ann Simons. Here's what we've been cooking: 

The Equiticity Racial Equity Movement

"Bringing racial equity into transit planning for the Chicago region," Nov 16, 2021

Transit has long been designed to support the white American work commute, but what if transit was planned with a focus on racial and social equity and rider utility? 

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP Photo

"What Pullman can teach us about community investment," October 26, 2021

Let's look to Chicago's Southside neighborhood when considering investing in our local neighborhoods.

MPC, Facebook

"Online platform tells Chicagoans when rivers are safe for activities," September 27, 2021

A Chicago-area nonprofit has created an online platform to show real-time water quality data that can help people understand when river water is safe for fishing, kayaking and other activities.

John Konstantaras/AP Images for Magnetar

"Back to school and in-person learning? Don't forget broadband equity," August 26, 2021

As the Delta Variant looms over a return to school this fall, we’ve learned during this pandemic that the internet is not simply a luxury, but a necessity.

Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Facebook

"Climate change action plan for the region is unveiled," June 29, 2021

Hundreds of people and dozens of communities just built a first-ever, collaborative playbook to fight climate change in the Chicago region. 

Nam Y. Huh, AP Photo

"Curb appeal: making our communities more pedestrian-friendly," May 5, 2021

Sidewalks seem simple, but they play an important role in communities' success, helping people get around, attracting business, promoting safety, and even advancing resilience to climate change. 

Chait Goli, Pexels

"Local governments engaging community to solve problems," March 25, 2021

In this era of COVID-19 and deep inequity, local governments say community engagement has become essential to delivering equitable outcomes. 

Listen for us monthly on WBEZ's "Reset." And if you have ideas for engaging conversation, reach out to an MPC staff member. Thank you for your support.

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For more than 85 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has partnered with communities, businesses, and governments to unleash the greatness of the Chicago region. We believe that every neighborhood has promise, every community should be heard, and every person can thrive. To tackle the toughest urban planning and development challenges, we create collaborations that change perceptions, conversations—and the status quo. Read more about our work »

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