Metropolitan Planning Council
June 2009 Media Tips
Bare-bones state budget would hurt statewide planning efforts
Without action on a balanced budget before July 1, Illinois will need to slash at least $9 billion from vital existing programs. In northeastern Illinois, one of the primary concerns is the total elimination of the Comprehensive Regional Planning Fund. Without this state funding, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), the region’s planning agency, cannot match essential federal transportation planning dollars. CMAP also relies on the Comprehensive Regional Planning Fund for water supply planning, community engagement, and GO TO 2040, which will establish a vision and strategies for metropolitan Chicago’s future growth and development.
Funding also is in jeopardy for innovative new programs lawmakers passed this session, such as the unanimously approved Illinois Senate Bill 2184. This legislation requires all high-volume water users in Illinois to report their annual use so the state and local communities can ensure there is enough clean water for everyone by making more informed development decisions. Learn more by visiting MPC’s Web site and contacting MPC Assistant Communications Director Mandy Burrell Booth, at 312-863-6018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MPC building the case for federal investment reform
On June 5, at the first event in a summer-long luncheon series “Reinventing Public Investment,” MPC released its draft framework for federal investment reform. The report, Goal-driven, Right-sized, and Coordinated: Federal Investment Reform for the 21st Century, highlights one national and four local case studies of nonprofit, community, civic, government and foundation leaders whose creative approaches to meeting housing, transportation, environmental, and economic development goals are succeeding – despite the inertia of traditional federal investment mechanisms. MPC President MarySue Barrett also was featured recently in a Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Webcast, talking about one of the models featured in MPC’s report, a group of communities in Chicago’s south suburbs that are working across municipal boundaries to develop a coordinated, thoughtful strategy to use stimulus dollars for local foreclosure recovery. In the months ahead, MPC and its partners will reach out to local, state and federal leaders to build the case for reform, particularly around opportunities such as the introduction of a new surface transportation funding bill by U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.). Learn more by reading MPC’s report and contacting MPC Vice President Peter Skosey, at 312-863-6004 or email@example.com.
What’s your favorite place in Chicagoland? Tell us and win!
Chicagoland is a patchwork of thousands of great neighborhood places that define our lives by inspiring us, relaxing us, and encouraging us to sit and talk awhile with our friends and neighbors. To find the best places in Chicagoland, Placemaking Chicago, a project of MPC, is taking submissions for the “What Makes Your Place Great?” contest now through July 27, 2009. Entrants can e-mail original photos or videos showcasing their favorite public places across Chicagoland, along with a 250-word-or-less description, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Complete rules and submission criteria guidelines are available at PlacemakingChicago.com. Entrants may feature places in the city of Chicago; Chicago suburbs located in Boone, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties in Illinois; Lake, Porter, and La Porte counties in Indiana; or in Racine and Kenosha counties in Wisconsin. Learn more by contacting MPC Associate Karin Sommer, at 312-863-6044 or email@example.com.
Behind the Numbers: Why does Illinois need better water use data?
Climate change is altering rainfall and groundwater recharge patterns. According to the Illinois State Climatologist, heavy rain over an eight-day period in January 2008 was 334 percent greater than normal amounts, leading to severe flooding and millions of dollars in damages.
Recent projections indicate potential water shortages in 12 townships in the Chicago metropolitan area.
A 2005 study from Southern Illinois University estimated that from 2000 to 2025, Illinois’ population would increase 12 percent, while total water withdrawals would increase 28 percent. To guarantee sufficient water for future population and economic growth, Illinois needs current, comprehensive data on water supply and demand.
Dates to Watch
MPC has moved to 140 S. Dearborn St., Suite 1400, Chicago 60603. Check out our new, green digs, and please update your address book. (Our phone numbers have not changed.)
GO TO 2040 “Invent the Future” workshops are taking place across the seven-county region this summer, giving residents a say in regional investments and policies. Find out when the next workshop is happening in your community at goto2040.org.
20: Walk, Bike, Run the Bloomingdale Trail, in Chicago, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
25: Regional Transportation Authority Board meeting, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.25: Illinois Toll Highway Authority Board meeting, 10 a.m. to noon
28, 29, 30: Solutions for Working Families: 2009 Learning Conference on State and Local Housing Policy, all-day conference
14: Reinventing Public Investment: Better Choices for a Better Chicagoland series
Creating Livable Communities in the Chicago Region, noon to 1:30 p.m.This is the second event in the summer-long MPC-CAF "Reinventing Public Investment" series, which is exploring how federal investment policies in housing, transportation and economic development shape decisions and development in the Chicago region. Panelists will be Don Chen, Ford Foundation and founder of Smart Growth America; Todd Brown, ShoreBank; Catherine Baker, Landon, Bone, Baker Architects; and Doug Farr, Farr Associates.
15: Chicago Transit Authority Board meeting, 10 a.m. to noon
For complete information about these and other events, visit MPC’s Web Calendar. For more story ideas, and contact information for MPC experts, visit our Newsroom.