The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and GO TO 2040
CMAP was created in 2005 as the comprehensive regional planning organization for the northeastern Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.
The CMAP Board is chaired by Gerald Bennett, mayor of Palos Hills. Reflecting the regional consensus that led to the creation of CMAP, the Board's membership features balanced representation from across the seven counties, including current or former elected officials and business leaders. Executive director Randy Blankenhorn leads the CMAP staff, which has diverse capabilities in comprehensive planning, data research and analysis, and related disciplines. CMAP has committees at the policy, advisory, coordinating, and working levels that play integral roles in the agency's planning processes.
About GO TO 2040
On October 13, 2010, leaders of metropolitan Chicago's seven counties voted to adopt GO TO 2040, the region's first comprehensive plan since Daniel Burnham's in 1909. Implementation of the plan will now be led by CMAP. The plan is available at www.cmap.illinois.gov/2040.
GO TO 2040 is intended to guide development and investment decisions through mid-century and beyond. GO TO 2040 seeks to strategically align public policies and investments, maximizing the benefits of scarce resources as the region adds more than 2 million new residents by 2040. The plan has four themes and 12 recommendation areas:
Livable Communities. This theme addresses diverse factors that together shape quality of life in terms of "livability" -- what attracts people to a particular community.
1. Achieve Greater Livability through Land Use and Housing
2. Manage and Conserve Water and Energy Resources
3. Expand and Improve Parks and Open Space
4. Promote Sustainable Local Food
Human Capital. This theme addresses factors that determine whether our region's economy will thrive due to the availability of skilled workers and a climate in which business creativity can flourish.
5. Improve Education and Workforce Development
6. Support Economic Innovation
Efficient Governance. This theme addresses the need for increased effectiveness of governments in the region and beyond, which is important to meet residents' needs regarding accountability and transparency.
7. Reform State and Local Tax Policy
8. Improve Access to Information
9. Pursue Coordinated Investments
Regional Mobility. This theme addresses the vitality of our region's transportation system, which is crucial for economic prosperity and overall quality of life. This chapter also includes descriptions of major capital projects that have been carefully selected to help achieve the GO TO 2040 vision.
10. Invest Strategically in Transportation
11. Increase Commitment to Public Transit
12. Create a More Efficient Freight Network
Major Capital Projects
The GO TO 2040 plan seeks to make effective use of public resources, including coordinated investments for infrastructure such as transportation. While the primary transportation emphasis of GO TO 2040 is to maintain and modernize -- rather than to expand the system -- the plan contains a handful of major capital projects selected to maximize regional mobility and economic development. See www.cmap.illinois.gov/2040/capital-projects for more details.
The Planning Process
The GO TO 2040 plan reflects more than three years of research and careful deliberation. CMAP and its partners -- including The Chicago Community Trust -- authored 47 strategy papers describing best practices in a range of issue areas. Each paper was posted to the web in interactive form to facilitate public comment. CMAP also published a series of Regional Snapshot reports that further explored trends and data points that shed light on issues such as State and Local Taxation, Air Quality, Jobs-Housing Balance, and more. CMAP relied heavily on its committee members and partner organizations to identify and help thoroughly study the topics now reflected in the GO TO 2040 plan.
Public participation got a boost because the plan's development coincided with major, regionwide celebrations of the 100-year anniversary of the landmark 1909 Plan of Chicago by Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett. The agency's outreach efforts reached a peak during the summer of 2009, when more than 35,000 participants had their say at CMAP "Invent the Future" workshops, kiosks, web tools, social media, and booths at community festivals.