MPC by the Numbers: 2012 Edition - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC by the Numbers: 2012 Edition

What a year 2012 has been! Just as news outlets look back at the year in headlines, here at MPC we think there's value in taking a moment to reflect on the milestones we've reached over the past 12 months. MPC by the Numbers is a numeric snapshot of these accomplishments, drawn primarily from data and indicators we track on a quarterly basis. These figures represent hours of work by staff and volunteers working hand-in-hand with government, industry and community leaders to forge pragmatic and workable policy solutions that advance a competitive, equitable and livable Chicago region. 

With 2013—and an ambitious work plan—right around the corner, we hope you will support our work to help us achieve even more in the coming months. To learn more about how MPC works and what we stand for, check out the Agenda in Action.

Organizational milestones

78 Years since MPC was founded.

134 Volunteer members of MPC’s Board of Governors, Committees and Resource Board. 

5 New members elected to MPC's Board of Governors: J. Tyler Anthony, ComEd; Karen M. Atwood, Blue Cross Blue Shield Illinois; Kyle Barnett, BMO Harris Bank N.A.; Derek Douglas, University of Chicago; Mike Thomas, Allstate Insurance Company.  

7 New Executive Advisors joined MPC: Carol Bernick, Polished Nickel Capital Management; Marsha Cruzan, U.S. Bank; Paul Fisher, Centerpoint Properties Trust; Patricia Hemingway Hall, Health Care Service Corporation; Gregory Mutz, Amli Residential Properties Trust; Judith C. Rice, BMO Harris Bank; Jim L. Stanley, NIPSCO.

$440,000 Net revenue generated by the 2012 Annual Luncheon to support MPC programs.

67 New donors supported MPC. 

1,541 People attended MPC events in 2012.

1 Leadership Circle event featured Chicago Aqua Tower architect Jeanne Gang.

72,000+ Unique visitors came to our web site in the past 12 months – a 22 percent increase over the same period last year.

13,886+ Subscribers received MPC’s e-newsletters.

1,545 People “Like” MPC on Facebook.

1,800 People follow @Metroplanners on Twitter.

Vibrant neighborhoods and a competitive regional economy

143 Communities received direct assistance in 2013 through several MPC projects, including Interjurisdictional Collaboration, Water Supply Planning, Bus Rapid Transit, Reconnecting Neighborhoods, Placemaking, Gary and Region Investment Project, and Stormwater Mitigation.

33 Communities are working together and with MPC to solve shared housing and community development challenges through interjurisdictional collaboration, in northwest, west, and south Cook County.

$70 million in funding from the National Foreclosure Settlement was directed by Ill. Attorney General Lisa Madigan to support housing counseling services and relief efforts for Illinois communities fraught with vacant and abandoned properties that have been hardest hit by foreclosure. This is in addition to the $8.2 million CityLift program the Attorney General and Wells Fargo announced earlier in the year, to help homebuyers purchase redeveloped homes in Chicago and/or the communities collaborating in south and west Cook County.

46 Entries to MPC's Space in Between Placemaking contest highlighted creative, temporary reuses of vacant spaces. The winning project, Demoiselle 2 Femme’s “Climb, Jump, Leap, and Imagine!,” is providing the Roseland community with a playground modeled after the Swiss Alps, or “neutral territory.”

11,151 People voted online to choose the People's Choice winner of the Space in Between contest, which went to Altgeld Sawyer Corner Farm with 2808 votes.

2 Place audits were conducted in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood, at which local business owners and residents generated ideas for activities to enliven 47th Street at the Green Line station.

2 developments in Bronzeville (Shops and Lofts at 47th and the Artists' Lofts on 47th) and 1 development on the Near West Side (United Center's redevelopment plans and relocation of its training facility) advanced in 2012, making progress on MPC's Reconnecting Neighborhoods initiative to improve transportation and retail in mixed-income communities created by the Chicago Housing Authority. 

1 Urban Exchange event hosted in Gary, Ind., by MPC, featuring newly-elected Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Duluth, Minn., Mayor Don Ness. The Urban Exchange series encourages Northwest Indiana and national leaders to share best practices for revitalization, cultivates partnerships, and draws more national attention to Gary and Northwest Indiana.

3 Gary and Region Investment Project priority investments advance in 2012: the Gary/Chicago International Airport, University Park Plan, and the Miller neighborhood.

8 Federal agencies convened for a conversation about coordinated investment in Gary, Ind. As a direct result of that meeting, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development are helping Gary demolish an abandoned hotel in their downtown.

75 Local Technical Assistance Project grants have been initiated by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning to help communities around the region plan for their futures in accordance with the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan. In 2012, MPC has supported 11 of those projects, many of which have been completed.

Responsible, productive use of Illinois' water assets

1 Bill (HB 4496), signed by Ill. Gov. Patrick Quinn, set an important deadline for updating Illinois’ plumbing code and by extension improving the state’s aging plumbing infrastructure. The bill paves the way toward creating a marketplace for water reuse systems and technologies that turns nuisances (rain, graywater) into resources

1200 Volunteer hours by roughly 150 volunteers led to 120 rain barrels installed and a half dozen native landscaping installations throughout Blue Island’s northeastern-most neighborhood, completing the first phase of a coordinated stormwater improvement project.

11 Members of the Northwest Water Planning Alliance (NWPA) unanimously endorsed new lawn watering guidelines, setting the stage for roughly 80 municipalities in northeastern Illinois to consider implementing uniform watering schedules and drought status criteria

$15.8 Million in State of Illinois funding was allocated to the University of Illinois' Prairie Research Institute, restoring threatened funding that is necessary to support the work of the Ill. State Geological Survey and Ill. State Water Survey.

$200,085 for green infrastructure retrofits were requested through theMilwaukee Avenue Green Development Corridor project in Logan Square.

A transportation network that serves people and the economy 

1 Bill (HR 4348), Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), was approved by Congress. For the first time, the bill requires the establishment of national goals, performance measures, and accountability in planning and funding transportation projects.

$49.5 Million has been invested to date in Chicago's Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network, including the new Jeffery Jump route, as well as planning for Central Loop and Western/Ashland BRT routes.

$80 million in federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act funding and a $20 million TIGER grant were awarded to the Chicago Transit Authority to help fund the $240 million renovation of the Red Line's 95th Street station.

32 Community Development Corporations and 19 aldermen met one-on-one with MPC and Active Transportation Alliance to discuss the planned BRT route along the Western/Ashland corridor. 100 percent of these aldermen expressed their support for BRT.

16 Employers in northeastern Illinois are participating in the Commute Options pilot, through which MPC is helping employers discover how to improve their employees' commutes. 70 percent of these employers have implemented at least one MPC-recommended strategy to improve commutes.

Innovative financing that unlocks regional growth 

102 Attendees from 28 countries attended the Organisation for Economic Growth and Development forum, to discuss cutting-edge approaches to financing sustainable urban investments toward economic recovery. The event was co-organized by MPC, OECD, City of Chicago, C40, U.S. HUD and six other organizations.

100 percent of the 58 mayors and managers from metropolitan Chicago who attended a forum on innovative financing, hosted by MPC and Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, said they would be interest in using public-private partnerships and value capture to improve and expand local infrastructure.

Quality homes in attractive communities 

14 Communities in northeastern Illinois participated in Homes for a Changing Region, a marked-based planning approach that helps municipalities plan on their own and with neighboring communities to meet future housing needs. Homes for a Changing Region is led by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), with support from MPC.

2,600+ Employees in northeastern Illinois received downpayment assistance from their employers to purchase a home closer to work since 2000. Employers have invested $10 million to date, complementing an additional $2.5 million in public investment.

employers (Webb DeVlam, Robinson Engineering, and Thornton Township) implemented a Home Energy Renovations for Employees (HERE) benefit to help their employees retrofit their homes to be more energy efficient.

$34 Million in competitive public funding has been awarded to two clusters of communities in south and west Cook County that are working with their neighbors to advance joint housing and community development plans. MPC has been assisting these communities since 2009 and in 2013 will advance recommendations to sustain these collaborations, outlined in the December 2012 report "Supporting and Sustaining Interjurisdictional Collaboration."

115 Housing units are being rehabbed in the south and west Cook County Collaboratives' member communities, including a 26-unit rental building in Maywood. The first new homeowners have started to move in to the rehabbed units.

1 Land bank, the South Suburban Land Bank and Development Authority, was created through intergovernmental agreement to support local redevelopment initiatives.

$8 Million has been capitalized in two new transit-oriented development funds in the south and west Cook clusters, which will allow each cluster to lend money to potential developers for developments that advance their revitalization plans.

3 Suburban residential developments were approved in 2012—comprising 106 total apartments and 24 affordable options within mixed-income communities in Villa Park, Crystal Lake, and Glenview—thanks in part to the Regional Housing Initiative (RHI).  

20 RHI homes within mixed-income communities in south Cook County, approved in 2010, became ready for occupancy in 2012.

330 Families were referred to RHI developments through the new regional waiting list created by the Chicago Region Housing Choice Initiative’s voucher pilot.

165 Families expressed interest in moving to quality communities through the voucher pilot.


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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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