Cross-Border Collaboration - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Cross-Border Collaboration

Promoting the mega-regional economy of metropolitan Gary, Chicago and Milwaukee

Photo by NASA


To hear the pundits tell it, we live in a zero sum world: You win, they lose—and vice versa. Yet in this global economy, regions inextricably bound by economic assets such as transportation networks, waterways and workforces cannot afford to squabble internally over crumbs.

Spanning northwestern Indiana, northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin, the Tri-State mega-region has enormous economic potential.

Such is the reality for the Milwaukee-Chicago-Gary mega-region. In 2012, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), commissioned by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, released a groundbreaking analysis that identified strong economic potential for the 14- to 21-county area straddling northeastern Illinois, southeastern Wisconsin and northwestern Indiana. The review also exposed a host of policy and governance barriers to realizing this region's full economic potential.


MPC recognizes the economic interdependence of communities from southeastern Wisconsin to northwestern Indiana, and has worked on the Gary Region Investment Project for three years to identify transformative investments in the Gary area. To expand on this work, MPC is partnering with the Tri-State Alliance—formed by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce as a result of OECD's 2012 analysis—as well as with organizations in Indiana and Wisconsin to identify and advance catalytic partnerships and investments in housing, transportation and water resources.


  • Coordinate capital investments and planning to avoid redundancy and waste
  • Capitalize on strengths of individual regions while positioning the mega-region as a whole for growth
  • Keep our mega-region relevant in a global economy by promoting a coherent, region-wide strategic business plan
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Chicago, Ill. 60603
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Shaping a better, bolder, more equitable future for everyone

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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