MPC's work transforming the region, thanks to our generous donors! - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC's work transforming the region, thanks to our generous donors!

Summer officially arrived last week, marking the halfway point of 2013. Before another day passes, all of us at the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) want to thank all of our supporters and share how you’ve helped us create a more prosperous and livable region. We could not have accomplished these milestones without the generous monetary and manpower contributions of all our donors, sponsors and partners. Thank you!

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on a Roll in Chicago

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is moving ahead with two new BRT routes in the Loop and on Ashland Avenue. Both have great potential to shorten commutes; better connect residents to neighborhoods, jobs and destinations; and benefit existing and attract new development. On April 19, 2013, the Chicago Transit Authority and Chicago Dept. of Transportation announced that by 2015, Ashland Avenue will have high-quality BRT up and running, with a dedicated, center-running lane, signal priority and level boarding. MPC has championed BRT since 2005 and released our groundbreaking report Bus Rapid Transit: Chicago’s New Route to Opportunity in August 2011. One of the routes we prioritized in that report was Ashland Avenue, and we are delighted that through our role on the City’s BRT Steering Committee, we could help bring this efficient and sustainable transportation system to Chicago.

Cook County Land Bank Ramps up

The Cook County Land Bank Authority will work with municipalities to create and execute a comprehensive plan to jump start economic growth through the redevelopment of residential, commercial and industrial land. The ordinance that launched the land bank passed on Jan. 19, 2013, and the Board of Directors already has been selected and is actively working to guide the land bank’s efforts. MPC is thrilled with how quickly Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle established the land bank after the advisory committee, which MPC President MarySue Barrett chaired, released its report in December 2012. Our work with three clusters of suburbs in south, west and northwest Cook County to address their local housing challenges also helped lay the groundwork for this countywide entity. We look forward to continuing to work with the land bank and area communities as they partner to reactivate vacant parcels, address foreclosures and safeguard against blight.

Lake Michigan Water Use is Modernized

Our region is losing vast sums of Lake Michigan water – perhaps up to 490 million gallons a week, or more than enough water to fill Willis Tower. It’s a wasteful and costly reality, but even more troubling is that we do not have an accurate picture of how much water or how much money we are wasting, and therefore cannot plan accordingly to stem this loss. Fortunately, the Ill. Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR) is modernizing its permit conditions for Lake Michigan water users, in part to more accurately assess water loss at the local level and support planning that prevents waste. MPC supports IDNR’s proposals and makes further recommendations in our new report Immeasurable Loss: Modernizing Lake Michigan Water Use.

MPC is proud to have played a role in these great accomplishments – and as a supporter, you should be proud, too! We couldn’t have done it without you, and we are excited about the planning and policy goals we can achieve together during the rest of 2013. 

Thank you for all your support!


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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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