Great Lakes Leaders to Map Infrastructure Priorities at 11/17 Conference
Soaring energy costs, flooding, insufficient mass transit, and crumbling
bridges – all have made recent headlines and all stem from poor planning and the
continued strain on our nation’s infrastructure. President-elect Barack Obama’s
$5 billion proposal to support Great Lakes restoration, along with the potential
for a second economic stimulus package that includes money for infrastructure,
make this an ideal time to set a new agenda for investment in the Great Lakes
Toward that end, the Chicago region’s Metropolitan Planning Council and Regional Plan Association of New York will co-host “Rebuilding
and Renewing America: Infrastructure Choices in the Great Lakes Megaregion,” on
Monday, Nov. 17, 2008, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151
E. Wacker Dr., Chicago.
Participants will include leaders from the Great Lakes business, civic,
government, and academic communities. They will help identify and prioritize
strategic investments in transportation, water and energy to be included in a
national infrastructure plan, authorization of a new surface transportation
bill, pending climate change legislation, and implementation of the Great Lakes
Compact. This forum is part of America 2050, a national initiative to develop an
infrastructure strategy for America’s future growth, competitiveness and
Members of the media can register by contacting MPC Asst. Communications
Director Mandy Burrell Booth, at 312-863-6018 or email@example.com.
What Should Top President-elect Obama’s To-Do List? Find out Nov. 20
President-elect Barack Obama will spend the next several weeks laying the
groundwork for Jan. 20, 2009, when he’ll begin to do the work necessary to meet
his campaign promises. Among the issues he must be ready to address are voters’
deep concerns about the tumultuous market, job security, and home values. At a
Nov. 20, 2008, MPC roundtable breakfast, some of Chicago’s most seasoned
reporters will discuss whether President-elect Obama is ready to address these
and other issues important to voters in metropolitan regions.
Michael Flannery, political editor at WBBM CBS 2; Alden Loury, editor of the
Chicago Reporter; and Dennis Rodkin, Deal Estate columnist for
Chicago Magazine, will reveal what they know and what they want to know
about President-elect Obama as he prepares to take office. Hear how they think
he will work with Congress to develop federal strategies to support Chicagoland
and growing regions. And learn how MPC can work with the media to keep the
pressure on the new administration to deliver on top priorities. Valerie
Austin-Alexander, executive vice president of public affairs, Edelman, will
moderate the discussion.
The roundtable takes place Thursday, Nov. 20, from 8 to 9:30 a.m., at
Northern Trust, 50 S. LaSalle St., Chicago. Cost is $15 for MPC donors, $30 for
non-donors, and includes breakfast. The event is generously hosted by Northern
Trust, with additional sponsorship provided by Edelman. For complete details and
to register, visit MPC’s Web calendar.
Tune in to MPC’s New YouTube Channel, MetroplanningChicago
MPC now has a YouTube channel, where you can view MPC's latest videos on
regional planning issues. If you have a YouTube account, you can subscribe to
MPC's channel and receive e-mail updates whenever new videos are posted. Even if
you don't have an account, you still can view and comment on all of our videos
by visiting YouTube and searching for MetroplanningChicago. Now playing:
• Placemaking Chicago Watch this two-minute audio slideshow and
learn how MPC's new Placemaking initiative is helping Chicagoans translate their
great ideas for their neighborhoods into on-the-ground success.
Development Initiative Communities often find themselves reacting to a
developer's proposal, rather than working to attract development that fits a
local plan. MPC is reversing this dynamic through the Corridor Development
Initiative, which teaches local stakeholders to articulate their own clear
vision of the development they’d like to see and approach developers with their
proposal. MPC piloted the initiative in Chicago's Lawndale community this
summer, and this seven-minute video explains the process for those who may want
to try this approach in their neighborhoods.
• Traffic Costs
Chicago Area $7.3 Billion a Year VP of External Relations Peter Skosey
discusses MPC’s recent report, Moving at the Speed of Congestion, which
quantifies the true cost of traffic to metropolitan Chicago.
For more information, contact MPC Asst. Communications Director Mandy Burrell
Booth, at 312-863-6018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MPC, Openlands Helping Pave the Way for Illinois to ‘Go Blue’
Now that it’s mainstream to be “green,” consumers are being challenged to “go
blue,” with Web sites such as Waterfootprint.org encouraging people to asses their water use
and take steps to reduce it. Curbing your consumption isn’t just about turning
off the faucet while brushing your teeth (though that’s encouraged): Did you
know communities built with greater proximity between homes, jobs, parks,
schools and stores tend to use less water per household?
A land use impact
calculator, developed by the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters,
illustrates the denser a community, the less water it consumes. While very few
states require land use decisions to factor in impact on water resources, since
the 2004 release of Changing Course by the MPC and Openlands, the two
organizations have been advocating for exactly that in Illinois.
Since 2005, Illinois has been moving toward a statewide framework for
regional water supply planning, but it has been slow-going. Two pilot regional
planning groups – in northeastern Illinois and east central Illinois – have
completed regional demand analyses, but the state recently cut funding to
complete regional supply analyses. County, municipal and foundation dollars have
been cobbled together to complete the analyses, but sustained commitment from
the State of Illinois is necessary to ensure these pilot groups, as well as
those to follow, have the support and resources necessary to plan our state's
water future. In early 2009, MPC and Openlands plan to release a report
recommending strategies to support and strengthen this burgeoning planning
effort. For more information, contact MPC Community Building Associate Josh
Ellis, at 312-863-6045 or email@example.com.