#BuildBackBetter - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Your go-to source for all of MPC’s COVID-19 analyses and recommendations, updated regularly


COVID-19 brought the Chicago region—and the world—to its knees, sickening our residents, stressing our institutions, commerce, and infrastructure, and underscoring the inequities between our communities. 


Moving forward from this pandemic requires creativity, community-mindedness, fiscal resources, listening to the wisdom of local leaders, and deep consultation with issue experts. The same is true for solutions to climate change, structural racism, global economic shifts and other threats to our individual and collective resilience.

Working collaboratively, we can #BuildBackBetter, in ways that prepare us for whatever comes next. 

If you’re seeking ideas on how metropolitan Chicago can confront the unacceptable inequities quantified in our Cost of Segregation study... if you’re all in on creating a more equitable, sustainable, prosperous, engaged and responsible future... if you believe in the potential of cities as places where every family can thrive... then join us. 

Our policy recommendations

The Metropolitan Planning Council's work deals with the infrastructure critical to supporting individual and community health: housing, transportation, land use, water, and government operations. MPC’s COVID-19 analyses and recommendations are organized into three broad categories:

  1. Slow the Spread -- Policies and practices that help reduce transmission by promoting physical distancing, supporting hygiene and wellbeing, testing and tracking, and preventing or responding quickly to future spikes in transmission.
  2. Immediate Financial Relief -- Policies and practices that help people, businesses, and municipalities currently in financial distress. 
  3. Build Back Better -- Policies and practices that will help our communities recover from COVID-19 while also creating a more equitable and sustainable society in the long-term. Policies that will make us more prepared and resilient in the face of future threats. 

View MPC's COVID-19 resources and recommendations

All of MPC’s policy analyses and recommendations, updated frequently, can be found by clicking the box above, and recent highlights are featured below. In addition, MPC experts frequently deliver testimony and sign on to position statements which can be found here.

Ideas to #BuildBackBetter

Selected work includes:

"Investing wisely in transportation," Audrey Wennink, September 2, 2020

When a pandemic stretches already-tight budgets, how can we ensure that each transportation dollar does the most good? 

"852 school districts. One decision," Adam Slade, August 19, 2020

Illinois has more school districts than any other state in the country. How does this complicate the return of students and teachers for the 2020-2021 school year?

"Remote learning? Not without internet," Liz Granger July 20, 2020

"Chicago Connected", a program activated by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, raised $50 million to provide free, high-speed broadband for Chicago Public Schools students. Research by Kids First Chicago and MPC. 

"It's time to get serious about preserving Chicago's two- to four-unit apartment buildings," Miriam Zuk, Diane Limas, Charisma Thapa, Andy Geer, June 29, 2020

How do we preserve apartment displacement in the wake of COVID-19? Let's learn from our mistakes of the 2008 financial crisis. 

"Data Points | COVID-19 Lesson: We Need Fairer Tax Policies," Daniel Cooper, June 24, 2020

No one will benefit if we continue to use the same fiscal policy structures. If we want a solvent, vibrant future post pandemic, we need to challenge the status quo of taxation and spending. 

"Thinking Regionally, Acting Locally During a Pandemic," Mark Fowler and Adam Slade, June 23, 2020

Agencies and municipalities in the Chicago region work together in response to COVID-19.


By working together to #BuildBackBetter we can reimagine the systems that underpin our region and create a better, bolder and more equitable future for all Chicagoans. 

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616 info@metroplanning.org

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Shaping a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous greater Chicago region

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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