Many of MPC’s research projects have emerged from consultative exploration and development. And while they begin as primary questions, they often yield substantial areas of inquiry.
While our the department is staffed by experts with years of research experience, their work is shaped by thousands of community stakeholders who help sharpen MPC’s lens into issues facing the region. Moreover, initial staff exploration into key questions has confirmed significant knowledge and communications gaps – and highlights the truly unique nature of MPC’s work.
With the support of philanthropic partners, MPC’s original research has great national import, shining a light on underexplored demographic trends, producing strategies to combat inequity, and be widely replicated.
At MPC, our research is often coupled with evaluation, which we believe is essential to the continuation of our work. Formal evaluation enables our team to assess project impact to determine whether programmatic goals have been met, and continue to align with the organizational mission.
Recent signature research projects include:
Cost of Segregation: Quantifying the steep costs our region pays for living so separately by race and income, and providing measurements of potential impact from MPC’s recommendations to address racial inequality and segregation
State of the Region: A new research initiative aimed at capturing how the 7-county Chicagoland region is performing on a variety of metrics relevant to MPC’s work and critical to residents' lives (i.e. jobs, housing, safety, health, education, and civic engagement).
Pullman Impact Evaluation: In response to a request from Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI)--a local nonprofit focused on holistic community development--MPC produced an exhaustive review of quantitative and qualitative data to assess quality of life changes in Pullman since CNI began its work there in 2010
Making the Business Case for Community Development: Through funding from the Build Healthy Places Network, MPC--in conjunction with the University of Chicago Center for Spatial Data Science (CSDS) and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH)--developed a model to measure the health-related returns on investment of cross-sector community development interventions.
Data points: Frequent, in-depth data dives that reveal new trends about the vitality of our region
MPC and its partners focus on economic development, vibrant neighborhoods, quality housing and transportation choices and well-managed natural assets. We consistently think ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow.
The comprehensive findings of this report will help policymakers, advocates and stakeholders address our area’s toughest planning and development challenges.