MPC hits the road: Staff speak across the region and nation - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC hits the road: Staff speak across the region and nation

Flickr user Lynn Friedman (CC)

It’s summer travel season, so it’s fitting that MPC’s staff have been taking their work on the road to conferences and events across the nation lately. From projects such as Great Rivers Chicago to the Cost of Segregation, here’s a rundown of what we’ve been up to:

Our very own Vice President of MPC Josh Ellis traveled to Washington D.C. to present to a Senate subcommittee, highlighting the issues and solutions for fixing our nation’s crumbling water infrastructure. Josh stressed the need for consolidation of water utilities in this and other areas of the country. In the Chicago area alone there are over 400 independent water utilities, and this causes difficulties. By consolidating, Josh argued, utilities could become better informed and equipped to make positive changes.

Josh wasn’t the only member of the MPC staff on the move in the past couple weeks. Vice President Marisa Novara flew to Washington D.C. to speak to the Urban Institute on the cost of racial and economic segregation in U.S. metropolitan regions. Marisa presented the findings of MPC’s Cost of Segregation report and showed what Chicago really loses in the segregation of its communities: At median segregation levels, Chicago would save $4.4 billion in annual income, 83,000 bachelor’s degrees and 230 lives.

MPC doesn’t always go jet-setting to lead impactful discussions. Many other members of MPC have been informing others in the Chicagoland area. Alden Loury, Director of Research and Evaluation, recently moderated a discussion on the Future of Economic Opportunity for Metropolitan Chicago. Hosted by CMAP, this forum tackled tough issues in structural economic inequality that threaten the American Dream for many in Chicago: unequal access to education, employment and resources. This summer Alden also presented at the Henry George School in the South Loop on population loss, land use and the Cost of Segregation.

Associate Sarah Cardona spoke recently at The Admiral at the Lake on the Great Rivers Chicago initiative, which envisions Chicago’s rivers as community spaces, providing Chicagoans with entertainment and a place to relax and enjoy. Manager Kara Riggio was a tour guide on Great Rivers Chicago for the Joyce Foundation’s river tour. Riggio spoke about the vision that the initiative has for these spaces, engaging and incentivizing people to help MPC and others transform the river. Finally, Manager Kendra Freeman presented to the Illinois Housing Council and to the DuPage Mayors and Managers Committee on the Cost of Segregation, and MPC’s findings in the report.

MPC applauds our staff for making a difference in our city, region and nation.


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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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