In Austin, the best-laid plans are collaborative - Metropolitan Planning Council

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In Austin, the best-laid plans are collaborative

Over 400 people contributed to a community plan now being executed by more than fifty. It’s an amazing model of cooperation that we’re honoring with our 2019 Burnham Award. Join us on February 25th for the ceremony

At our 2019 Annual Luncheon in September, MPC announced that Austin Coming Together (ACT)—a collaborative community planning initiative in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, the city’s second most populous—as the recipient of the 2019 Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning for their role in facilitating the community's Quality-of-Life Plan known as Austin Forward Together, a set of comprehensive strategies for a neighborhood renaissance. We will honor ACT with a formal Burnham Award ceremony on February 25thjoin us!

Austin Coming Together tshirtOn December 14th, ACT hosted a Community Summit to celebrate the first year of implementation of Austin's community-led Quality-of-Life Plan. These comprehensive strategies for a neighborhood renaissance were created with input from over 400 Austin residents and is one of many community efforts that inspires MPC to strive for a better, bolder, more equitable future for everyone.

MPC Directors Kendra Freedman and Dan Cooper present ACT with the Burnham Award for Excellence in PlanningDirector of Community Development and Engagement Kendra Freeman and Director of Research Dan Cooper presented the official Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning to Austin Coming Together Executive Director Darnell Shields.

Guests at the Austin Coming Together community summitThe Summit highlighted a few of the Quality-of-Life Plan’s focal projects: Chicago Avenue, Central Avenue, Kehrein Center for the Arts, and the redevelopment of Emmet School into the Aspire Center for Workforce Innovation. In the spirit of community-led planning, ACT also gathered insights from attendees on the ways these projects will impact Austin community and the challenges they might encounter.

The City of Chicago's Invest Southwest Initiative will support development in Austin and other communitiesRecent investment in Austin and support for neighborhood development and implementation of the Quality of Life Plan includes Invest South/West, BMO Harris Bank, United Way of Metro Chicago, and others. Community leaders are also being tapped as implementation partners, with almost 50 individuals coordinating across different priorities to execute the plan.

Austin Coming Together Executive Director Darnell ShieldsWith the second-largest population, the largest geographic area in the city, and over 150 years of rich history, the Austin community is poised to take collective action and move the community forward, together.

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For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area's toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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