#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: 

"The Eviction Cliff," Juan Sebastian Arias, May 7, 2020

What happens when temporary eviction moratoria expire, and people suddenly face months of overdue rent? 

"Equitable recovery requires meaningful engagement," Kendra Freeman, May 1, 2020

Building back better means engaging those most impacted by Coronavirus. But as social distancing makes face-to-face community dialogue impossible, how can we keep those voices at the center of the conversation?

"For Cook County Jail, a hot spot of COVID-19, our choices are fast action or mass death," Dan Cooper and Amanda Klonsky, April 24, 2020, first published with the Chicago Sun-Times

Even as the number of people in the jail with COVID-19 increases, another week has passed without significant action to reduce the jail population.

"What the CARES Act means for Chicagoland," Justin Williams, March 27, 2020

The Federal Government just signed into law the CARES Act, which provides over 2 trillion dollars in relief to households, governments, and agencies. How will the relief package affect Chicagoland's social and physical infrastructure?

"Segregation and inequality make the Chicago region more vulnerable," Dan Cooper and Shehara Waas, March 25, 2020

A look at the data, because our existing patterns of inequality will worsen unless we make addressing them the number one priority in our COVID policy responses.


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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