Transit-oriented development is one way to connect people to jobs more easily.
- By Yonah Freemark and MPC Research Assistant Chris Hale
- August 6, 2014
This is the final post in our "jobs-housing puzzle" series. Every day thousands of people commute to and from each of Chicago’s neighborhoods and suburbs, but only a small minority spends the work day in the same community that it wakes up in. Overwhelmingly people do not live and work in the same place. In this blog series, we’ll cover current statistics on where people are and where they’re going, and what that means for the communities in which they live and work. You can find all the posts in the series here.
When we think about development and planning, we need to recognize that what happens in one place may have as much significance for the wider region as it does locally. We cannot see communities and municipalities as isolated entities. The policies and initiatives of one mayor or one alderman will have impacts in neighboring communities. The need for local governments to take an active interest in the development of the region as a whole is vital. Our analysis suggests that if a firm goes out of business in Elmhurst and 300 jobs are lost, on average 270 of those will be from other parts of the region. This means that when one community runs in to trouble, more often than not this will hurt the region as a whole.
The way that people make decisions about where to live and work are complicated, but what is clear is that most people travel between communities for work. This means that the economy of the region and the people who live in each community are best served when their community is well connected. It is imperative that we act on information like this to maximize benefits for our region and its residents.
Planners and government agencies must take into account the fact that most people in our region do not live and work in the same community.