Smart cities like Chicago are tapping technology to improve planning and community development. BRT meetings in Chicago 10/16-18. Vote for the winner of the Space in Between contest. Take our enews quiz!

Mayor Rahm Emanuel kicked off the “Chicago Broadband Challenge” this week, to ramp up availability of ultra-high-speed broadband in public spaces, underserved neighborhoods, and commercial and industrial areas throughout the city.

Where We Stand

Using laptop in park
Ed Yourdon (flickr)

Imagine if your smartphone could tell the Dept. of Streets and Sanitation about a pothole on your street, without even pressing a button. Or consider a mobile app that would allow you to provide input to a community meeting, while you’re cheering at your daughter’s soccer game. Just think of the crimes that could be prevented if your city could identify street light outages in real-time and deploy extra police to patrol affected areas.
You don’t have to imagine: All these technologies exist, and smart cities like Chicago are tapping into them. In 2012, MPC has been exploring how to harness new technologies to improve planning, design, community engagement – and our region. Join us to learn more about this exciting interdisciplinary work at three MPC events on Oct. 8, 9 and 11, during Chicago Ideas Week.

Project Progress Report

Bus Rapid Transit

MPC continues to champion Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT, as a sound investment in the next generation of Chicago's transportation infrastructure – an economic growth strategy identified by World Business Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs.
Making it far easier for people to get to jobs, schools, entertainment and other destinations is just one way BRT can support economic and community development. BRT’s connectivity and physical improvements to public spaces also provide a backbone for clustering new, permanent public and private sector investments in communities along its routes. When Cleveland built the BRT HealthLine in 2008, more than $4.3 billion in adjacent real estate development followed, driven by anchor institutions such as the Cleveland Health Clinic.
This fall, the Chicago Transit Authority will begin piloting elements of BRT along the Jeffery corridor on Chicago’s South Side. This past spring, the Chicago Dept. of Transportation submitted a proposal to the feds for a Loop BRT route featuring designated bus-priority lanes on Madison Street and Washington Boulevard. Very exciting.
But the best opportunity to capitalize on BRT’s full potential – quickly connecting transit riders to destinations and existing rail stations, and spurring new jobs – will kick off in mid-October: Residents, business owners and other community stakeholders will have the opportunity to help create “gold standard” BRT along Western and Ashland avenues.
The Connector has all the details about the public meetings on BRT taking place in October. Help us spread the word by sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter!

Headlines from MPC

Housing + Community Development

Transportation + Water

Vote for winner of MPC’s Space in Between contest!
The data is in: Placemaking is rampant in greater Chicago, Milwaukee and Gary! Since June, dozens of individuals and organizations from the tri-state region have entered MPC’s “Space in Between” contest, which is recognizing the most creative transformations of vacant lots and buildings into temporary but vibrant community places. Between now and Oct. 5, 2012, it’s time for the public to vote for their favorite, at
Vote today, and stay tuned this fall, when the winners will be announced!

Watch an ABC-Channel 7 segment on the Space in Between contest
MPC wants to improve how we communicate with you! Please take our brief survey about MPC’s website and newsletters, and we’ll enter you for a chance to win two free seats at a roundtable of your choice. (Drawing to be held Oct. 31.)
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