February Media Tips - Metropolitan Planning Council

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February Media Tips

Firefighters, Teachers, Journalists Need Raises to Afford Homes in Region

Fewer apartments, rising housing costs, and slow job growth are among the reasons why a growing number of working people can’t afford a home in metropolitan Chicago . Ever wonder who is being priced out of homes in your coverage area? MPC can provide data showing actual wages for key sectors of your local workforce – such as teachers, medical professionals, and, ahem, journalists – and what their wages would need to be to afford to live near where they work.

Among our findings:

  • Though our region’s population is growing, jobs are not being created in Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will counties at a rate proportional to population growth.
  • As more people move into the edges of the six-county region, rental opportunities – like job opportunities – are slow to follow.
  • Medical assistants, firefighters, preschool teachers, and journalists are among the many workers forced to pay more than the recommended 30 percent of their incomes on housing.

Data on local wages and housing costs is available for communities in DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.

MPC contact: Josh Ellis, Community Development Associate, 312 .863.6045, jellis@metroplanning.org

Meet the MPC Staff
MPC’s Scott Goldstein Helps Improve Communities through Policies and Practice

Whether your community is weathering school funding concerns, a population influx, economic instability, protection of critical water resources, or broadband technology issues, Scott Goldstein, MPC vice president of policy and planning, can provide expertise on community development trends.

The Chicago-area native and father of two has experience working both at the policy level and on the ground with a range of local communities to improve economic development and quality of life. His current responsibilities include developing policy recommendations for the A+ Illinois campaign for school funding and tax reform, and guiding the Campaign for Sensible Growth and Community Building Initiative. After 12 years with MPC, he says he most appreciates the opportunity to improve public policy at a broad level, but is most proud of assisting the ongoing economic and physical transformation of south suburban Riverdale, where nearly all of MPC’s policies are coming into play.

Goldstein serves as the public policy chair for ULI Chicago and is a member of Mayor Daley’s Digital Divide Advisory Committee. He led the passage of stormwater management and local planning legislation in Illinois. Goldstein received a master’s degree in urban planning from Columbia University in New York and began his career with Banana Kelly, a leading community development corporation in the South Bronx in New York City.

MPC contact: Scott Goldstein, Vice President of Policy and Planning, 312.863.6003, sgoldstein@metroplanning.org

Learn Why Street Design Matters at March 15 MPC Roundtable Luncheon

Chicago and other global cities such as New York City, London, Paris, Copenhagen and Shanghai have begun to dramatically rethink the design of their streets and public squares. From Chicago’s Ogden Avenue to the Paris Plage, city streets are being transformed from throughways to popular places for residents and visitors to shop, eat, meet, greet and relax. The Metropolitan Planning Council and the Chicago Architecture Foundation will co-host a roundtable on Thursday, March 15, from noon to 1:30 p.m., featuring local and national experts discussing what it takes to turn ho-hum streets into desirable neighborhood destinations.

“If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places,” says Fred Kent, founder and president of Project for Public Spaces, a New York City-based nonprofit that has helped some 1,500 communities in the U.S. and around the world turn their public spaces into vital community places. Kent will be a featured speaker at the event, along with Cheri Heramb, acting commissioner of the Chicago Dept. of Transportation.

The lunchtime event takes place at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, in The John Buck Company Lecture Hall. Media may attend at no cost, but registration is appreciated to plan for lunch. For complete details, including a full speaker lineup and standard registration and costs, visit MPC’s Web calendar.

MPC contact: Kit Hodge, Associate, 312.863.6044, khodge@metroplanning.org

Retail 1-2-3 Teaches Communities the A-B-Cs of Retail Development

Most communities have wished that the solution to their respective retail development needs were as easy as the Jackson 5’s platinum hit, “ABC.” Of course, they rarely are. That’s why the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) teamed up with the Campaign for Sensible Growth, International Council of Shopping Centers, and Metropolitan Mayors Caucus to produce a new retail development workbook.

Retail 1-2-3: A Workbook for Local Officials and Community Leaders provides local communities with case studies, market-based financing options, examples of what developers look for in a project and other factors to consider when faced with a retail development challenge. Many local and regional retail “wins” are featured in the workbook, including Elmhurst, Tinley Park, Marengo, Andersonville, and Lockport. The book also explains how successful communities are making “the shopping experience,” “big box,” and “lifestyle center” part of their lexicon, while experimenting with new retail trends such as mixed-use development.

At events in Tinley Park on April 4, Waukegan on April 9, Elmhurst on April 10, and Des Plaines on April 17, participants will learn how Retail 1-2-3 can help them achieve retail success in their communities. For more information, check MPC’s Web calendar , or contact Josh Ellis.

MPC contact: Josh Ellis, Community Development Associate, 312 .863.6045, jellis@metroplanning.org
Contact: Mike Davidson, Manager, Campaign for Sensible Growth, 312.863.6009, mdavidson@growingsensibly.org

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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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