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April 12, 2013
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CMAP Weekly Update, 4-12-13

Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, the American Planning Association conference begins tomorrow, a new form-based codes handbook helps communities emphasize the physical character of development, a new Policy Update on news from Springfield, including bills directly affecting CMAP, an upcoming talk on the recent Regional Manufacturing Cluster drill-down report, and the final presentation for Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP). Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.


First Off...

REMINDER: APA conference. The 2013 American Planning Association National Conference has arrived in Chicago. From April 13-17, see CMAP's local exhibit on the region's progress in implementing the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan, as well as a number of panels led by CMAP and MPC. At Tuesday's awards luncheon, CMAP will be honored with the National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Agency. On-site registration will be available at the Hyatt Regency Chicago (151 East Wacker Dr.).

Form-Based Codes Handbook. This week, CMAP released Form-Based Codes: A Step-by-Step Guide for Communities. As communities have sought to reinvigorate their downtowns or create viable commercial corridors, many have found that conventional zoning methods geared to regulating land use may not address certain physical characteristics that contribute to a community's "sense of place." Form-based codes offer an alternative by emphasizing the physical character of development. For more information, contact Stephen Ostrander ( or 312-386-8696).

Policy Updates. We described recent news from Springfield, including two bills directly affecting CMAP.

Manufacturing cluster report. Our recent Policy Updates blog on infrastructure for the manufacturing cluster, as described in CMAP's recent drill-down report, was reposted on the Sustainable Cities Collective blog. I will discuss the report at the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation quarterly meeting on April 26 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Ravisloe Country Club (18231 Park Avenue, Homewood).

FLIP final event and applications. On May 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., students through CMAP's Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) program will hold a Sustainability Fair at Rich East High School (300 Sauk Trail, Park Forest). All are welcome. This year, FLIP students came up with ways to help implement Park Forest's sustainability plan, which was developed through CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program. Applications are also available for next year's FLIP program. Students who will be sophomores, juniors, or seniors in the 2013-14 school year are eligible. For more information, contact Ricardo Lopez ( or 312-386-8766).


Other News and Announcements

LTA updates. Among recent highlights from CMAP's LTA program:

  • On April 11, government, business, and civic leaders from Chicago's Chinatown gathered to launch a year-long planning process for the community's future. In partnership with LTA, the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community and 25th Ward Alderman Daniel Solis will lead development of a Chinatown Community Vision Plan, the first community-developed plan for the neighborhood in over 100 years. Learn more about the project by visiting Read about the event and efforts to solicit input via "postcards from the future" at DNAinfo.
  • The Village of Park Forest, in conjunction with Smart Growth America, will host a public workshop on sustainable zoning codes on April 18 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Dining on the Green (349 Main Street, Park Forest). This event will kick off the Village's zoning and subdivision ordinance update project, which will be undertaken with assistance from LTA. Park Forest's sustainability plan was unanimously adopted last May. Contact Monica DeLord ( to RSVP.
  • The Doings Hinsdale covered LTA-supported efforts by the Village of Hinsdale to develop a parking strategies study. Residents can provide input on several strategies and priorities to improve the livability and vitality of the community's historic downtown at

EI2 in the news. CMAP's Dan Olson was on the Mighty House radio program to discuss rebates currently available through Energy Impact Illinois. Individuals can receive up to $1,750 (an estimated 70-percent cost savings) for efficiency upgrades to save energy and improve the comfort of their homes. For more information, contact Emily Plagman at Call 1-855-9-IMPACT to see if you qualify for the rebate.

BRT station design competition. The Chicago Architectural Club and Chicago Architecture Foundation, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Transportation, the Chicago Transit Authority, and Chicago Bus Rapid Transit Steering Committee, have launched a new design competition for three stations in Chicago's planned BRT system. Entries are due May 13, 2013.

Innovation Day. April 11 was declared "Innovation Day" to foster innovation in Illinois, and members of the Illinois General Assembly, the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition, and the Illinois Innovation Council met yesterday to discuss progress in this important economic sector.

Census webinars. The U.S. Census Bureau will offer two free training webinars next week: The Economic Census and Other Economic Programs (April 17,12:00 to 2:00 p.m. CT) and Understanding Census Geography (April 18, 12:00- 2:00 p.m. CT). Register on-line.

TFIC infrastructure briefings. The Transportation for Illinois Coalition will hold a series of briefings around the state starting next week to highlight community benefits of modern, well-maintained infrastructure, as well as the need for funding to maintain and modernize existing infrastructure. Visit the Events page at Contact TFIC for more information (217-572-1272 or

Civic engagement event. The Citizen Advocacy Center, Deliberative Democracy Consortium, and Pepperdine University's Davenport Institute will hold a workshop, Legal Infrastructure for Civic Engagement, on May 6 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at CMAP's offices (233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago).


CMAP Blogs

Soles and Spokes. The Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administrated released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking about new regulations for Categorical Exclusions (CEs) under the National Environmental Policy Act. The proposed rule would allow CEs for any project within an existing operational right-of-way, as well as for "small projects" whose federal share is under $5 million or whose total estimated cost is under $30 million. We also informed readers of a notice released by the Center for Disease Control and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services seeking public input on walking and the health benefits of increasing walkability.



Congestion pricing campaign. CMAP estimates that the implementation of congestion pricing on five GO TO 2040-recommended projects would increase business output, leading to nearly 40,000 new jobs and total increased wage income of some $2.3 billion within a decade after the expressways open. Learn more at To support this effort, please contact CMAP principal planner Erin Aleman (312-386-8816 or

Automation event. Manufacturing and production efficiency will be among topics emphasized at the Automation Conference on May 14-15 at the Chicago Marriott O'Hare. Register on-line for this education and networking event, which is geared to automation professionals across all industries involved in processing, manufacturing, and packaging.

ArcGIS workshops. CMAP periodically offers a Two-Day ArcGIS Basic 10.1 Workshop, and dates are set for July 10 to 11 and August 28 to 29. Attendance at each workshop is limited to five people, so register early. The cost is $350. To register, please contact Jan Drennan (



Grant Professionals Association Regional Conference
April 26, 2013
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Macy's: Narcissus Room, Seventh Floor, 111 N. State Sreet, Chicago
Hosted by Grant Professionals Association - Chicago Area chapter
More information

FLIP Sustainability Fair
May 4, 2013
10:00 to 2:00 p.m.
Rich East High School: 300 Sauk Trail, Park Forest
Hosted by the Village of Park Forest and CMAP
More information



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