Changes to Chicago River Design Guidelines Accepted - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Changes to Chicago River Design Guidelines Accepted

On January 24, 2019, MarySue Barrett congratulates members of the Department of Planning and Development for reviewing and revising the design guidelines for new riverfront development, an action step outlined in the Our Great Rivers vision plan

January 24, 2019

Martin Cabrera, Jr.

Chair City Hall

121 North LaSalle Street

Chicago, IL 60602

Dear Chairman Cabrera:

The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is an independent planning organization that for 85 years has shaped policy recommendations that make this region work for everyone. We thank you and the other members of the Commission for the opportunity to comment on the draft Chicago River Design Guidelines.

We congratulate the Department of Planning and Development for conducting a thorough review and completing a revision of the design guidelines for new riverfront development. This revision and approval is one of the action steps outlined in the Our Great Rivers vision plan. As the project manager for this inclusive effort, we are excited to see this goal achieved.

MPC appreciates the City’s transparency in crafting these guidelines, which included tapping the expertise of Chicago community leaders to help shape the guidelines into an accessible, clear and coherent document that will improve the overall quality of the Chicago River.

MPC supports the changes and additions that have been outlined within the proposed guidelines. Specifically, the menu of improvement items, required as part of new developments along the riverfront, and defined within the categories of Nature, Recreation and Connectivity, will help make the Chicago River inviting, productive and living. The revised guidelines improve upon the 2005 version by prioritizing trails and access along the riverfront and gives priority to restoring the natural shoreline and aquatic habitats. Overall, these guidelines will have a positive impact on the Chicago River for years to come.


MarySue Barrett

President, Metropolitan Planning Council

cc: Commissioner Reifman

Cynthia Roubik

Eleanor Gorski

Full text here.


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