MPC's 2012 policy agenda seeks to reward efficiency, collaboration - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC's 2012 policy agenda seeks to reward efficiency, collaboration

This week, MPC released its 2012 Plan for Prosperity: Innovative Solutions for the New Normal, which identifies 10 policy, planning and development reforms MPC is pursuing in 2012. Today's excerpt falls under our policy agenda's "reward efficiency" section, which is all about supporting collaboration that results in efficient and effective redevelopment strategies -- whether that's collaboration between the public and private sector, collaboration among distinct but related government agencies, or collaboration among neighboring communities to solve a shared development challenge. Our reasoning is simple: The more Chicagoland acts with shared purpose, the more the region will collectively benefit from new economic activity – something we can all agree deserves more effort.

The following excerpt is one of four recommendations under "reward efficiency." To read MPC’s complete 2012 policy agenda, download Innovative Solutions for the New Normal

Recommendation: Provide incentives to communities and agencies collaborating to solve shared development challenges. 

Housing markets, transit networks, watersheds – none of these are bound by municipal borders, thus none can be addressed adequately by one community alone. By partnering, clusters of neighboring communities can tackle these challenges more effectively, multiply their local capacity, and get more bang for their collective buck – all welcome results at a time when municipalities are forced to squeeze every cent from their lean budgets. By having a single contact point, shared processes, and even common development guidelines across multiple towns, these communities also can create real bottom-line efficiencies for the private sector – including employers, developers and investors. 

For the past two years, in partnership with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, and a range of other partners, MPC has been assisting four clusters of communities around the region to realize the benefits of collaboration around foreclosure prevention and response strategies, transit-oriented redevelopment, rental preservation, and planning for future housing needs through Homes for a Changing Region. What we have learned is, despite clear benefits, these multi-town partnerships are politically and technically difficult to sustain, in part because long-standing government protocols were designed to support individual communities rather than a multi-town collaboration. MPC is developing specific recommendations for regional, state and federal policy changes to remove barriers to these interjurisdictional strategies and reward them for taking a more efficient, effective approach to revitalizing our region.  

To learn more, visit MPC's Interjursidictional Collaboration web page.

To learn more about how this work is addressing the problem of vacant properties in metropolitan Chicago, follow MPC's ongoing blog series on this topic at


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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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