For each GO TO 2040 recommendation area, selected regional indicators act as benchmarks to monitor progress of plan implementation. As part of the federally mandated plan update to be released for public comment in mid-2014, CMAP is revising some performance measures to better match policy needs and data availability.
The regional indicators revision process is based on experiences from the first few years of implementing the plan. Some of the indicator changes were reflected in the second annual GO TO 2040 Moving Forward implementation report. This effort also relates to CMAP's on-going MetroPulse partnership with The Chicago Community Trust.
Much of this work draws on staff assessments of the performance measures conducted over the past two years. As the performance measures are intended to be used to track the progress of plan implementation, a guiding principle was the need for indicators to be based on actual measured values and not be reliant upon modeled or estimated figures. Meeting any of the following criteria is considered an improvement to an existing indicator:
- Observed data exist that can be used to replace an indicator currently reliant on modeled data.
- Modifying an existing indicator would result in a more meaningful measure or one more easily understood by a non-planner.
- An alternative dataset is available that is released with greater frequency to create a more robust set of indicator values.
- Modifying the existing indicator would result in a significant reduction in the level of effort to maintain it without a proportional reduction in its meaningfulness.
- Modifying the existing indicator would increase its relevance to plan recommendations.
Regional Economic Indicators
As a global metropolis and economic center of the Midwest, metropolitan Chicago is poised to prosper in an increasingly interconnected world. GO TO 2040 seeks to maintain and strengthen this position by building on the region's many assets – a diverse mix of industries, vast physical infrastructure and open space, a skilled workforce, and preeminent educational and research institutions. To inform communities and policy makers about the health of the region's economy, CMAP new web microsite includes data and analysis tracking a wide variety of regional economic indicators. Focusing on four major economic themes, the site's analysis covers broad economic trends and major industry clusters, as well as workforce and innovation metrics outlined in GO TO 2040.