MPC and partners answer Obama’s call for innovative ways to support sustainable metropolitan development - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC and partners answer Obama’s call for innovative ways to support sustainable metropolitan development

In October,, an online pool of news and opinions from thought leaders on sustainable metropolitan development compiled by nationally syndicated columnist Neal Pierce, published a commentary from MPC President MarySue Barrett. She wrote about the Chicago visit of four high-ranking members of the Obama administration in September — EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Shelley Poticha representing Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, and Director Adolfo Carrion, of the White House Office of Urban Affairs — for MPC’s 2009 Annual Luncheon.

Introducing Barrett’s column, Pierce wrote “Since the days of Jefferson, active federal government interest in cities has been a kind of unnatural act. But the Obama era is bringing change, both domestically and now, quite surprisingly, globally. MarySue Barrett, writing from Chicago, reflects on visits by top federal officials and the emerging on-the-ground coordination of historically ‘silo’ed’ departments as they work in America’s regions.”

MPC is thrilled that this shift has captured the attention of policy advocates across the nation, and enthusiastic about the potential the Obama administration's Livability Principles have to guide future federal investment policy.

When the federal officials came to Chicago for MPC’s Annual Luncheon, attended by more than 1,000 business, civic, and community leaders, they each left with a preview copy of Advancing Livability Principles: Federal Investment Reforms Lessons from the Chicagoland Experience. The paper released publically this week, was drafted by MPC in partnership with the Center for Neighborhood Technology, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, and Regional Transportation Authority. It outlines the partners’ collective ideas for putting the Obama administration’s joint-agency livability principles into action, and showcases the Chicago region’s successes as models for nationwide implementation of federal investment policies that are goal-oriented, right-sized, and coordinated. 

The Advancing Livability Principles paper is part of an ongoing MPC project to advocate for federal investment reform. Over the coming months, staff and volunteers will be taking the paper on the road, to meet with local, regional, state, and federal policymakers and community stakeholders. If your company or organization is interested in a presentation, please contact MPC for more information.

Download Advancing Livability Principles: Federal Investment Reform Lessons from the Chicagoland Experience.

Read MarySue Barrett’s column “Federal and City-Metro Leaders: The Twain Finally Meet — And Act” on

Contact Peter Skosey, MPC vice president, to schedule a presentation on how Advancing Livability Principles: Federal Investment Reforms Lessons from the Chicagoland Experience can inform and shape the future of community development.


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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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