Posted on August 10, 2009 1:36 AM
CMAP, ARRA Coordinating Council Commended for Work on Stimulus (8-10-09)
CMAP and other local agencies in the ARRA Coordinating Council, including the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (MMC) and the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), were praised in a recent brief by the Brookings Institute for leadership and innovation in the spending and coordination of stimulus funds.
The Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institute released the report Implementing ARRA: Innovations in Design in Metro America at the end of July. “Prosperity flows from a network of 366 diverse metropolitan economies,” the report said, “[w]hich is why it is hugely important that creative urban and regional leaders across a number of U.S. regions are currently working to make the most of the… [ARRA] resources.” Local creativity was cited as a major source of innovation, and one of the main contributors to such creativity was the preexistence of a regional vision or plan, as well as strong leadership from bodies such as CMAP and the ARRA Coordinating Council.
Highlights of the brief include:
- CNT’s work to build a region-wide energy efficiency system was praised for its multi-jurisdictional approach in working with 42 municipalities, CMAP, community and economic development non-profits, philanthropies, workforce training organizations among other organizations. Brookings issued a short report about these activities. CNT was also praised for its use of data to maximize stimulus performance in the region. The agency creates a local energy profile with basic consumption data and a matrix of energy efficiency strategies for each community for short-term Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant guidance. Over time, CNT predicts it will become a leader in the region for mapping local energy efficiency demands and developing performance indicators for a variety of subjects, including energy savings and emissions reductions.
- The brief commended CMAP’s inter-jurisdictional cooperation with both the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) 1 and its continued inter-jurisdictional approach creating a joint application for the NSP 2, as well as for “helping to convene key regional stakeholders for broader ARRA coordination” through the ARRA Coordinating Council.
- MPC, MMC and the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA) were commended for their cooperation with local leaders and key partners by “layering new stimulus dollars for energy efficiency, workforce development, transit improvements and neighborhood stabilization into the same focused areas for investment” as identified by the joint applicants for NSP 1. Brookings also issued a short report about these activities.
- The region won more high praise for its ability to create private and public sector partnerships in the usage of stimulus funds. The City of Chicago’s Multi-Family Energy Retrofit Program, which uses the a model of private sector energy companies in application to the affordable, multi-housing market, created partnerships between the mayor’s office and the city’s environment and community development agencies with a range of private organizations, including JP Morgan Chase, Community Investment Corporation, and Enterprize Community Partners, among others. Brookings issued a short report about these activities.