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Livability Updates

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September 20, 2017  

Strategies to reduce the effects of flooding in metropolitan Chicago

The Chicago region experiences significant and repeated damages from flooding. Between 2007 and 2014, $2.319 billion in damages were paid out from public and private sources statewide, according... Read More About Strategies to reduce the effects of flooding in metropolitan Chicago
July 21, 2017  

FY18 budget impacts on state finances, regional transportation, and local governments

The Illinois General Assembly enacted a series of budget bills on July 6, 2017, overriding the Governor's veto and ending the state's two-year budget impasse. Among changes to income tax... Read More About FY18 budget impacts on state finances, regional transportation, and local governments
July 19, 2017  

Local leadership on climate change issues

In June 2017, Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued an executive order committing the City of Chicago to a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.... Read More About Local leadership on climate change issues
April 7, 2017  

Voters consider consolidation and open space measures

On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, suburban voters in the seven-county CMAP region turned out for  municipal, township, school district, fire district, park district, and library district... Read More About Voters consider consolidation and open space measures
March 17, 2017  

Administration releases FY 2018 budget blueprint

This week, the Trump Administration released its budget blueprint for federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, which begins October 1, 2017.  The blueprint outlines $1.15 trillion in discretionary... Read More About Administration releases FY 2018 budget blueprint
March 2, 2017  

ON TO 2050: Creating a Balanced Regional Housing Supply

  About 100 people joined CMAP, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) on February 28 for the latest ON TO 2050 Big Ideas Forum, "Closer to Home:... Read More About ON TO 2050: Creating a Balanced Regional Housing Supply
December 9, 2016  

ON TO 2050 Big Ideas forum evokes debate about the future of regional urbanization

More than 100 people joined CMAP at Two Brothers Roundhouse in Aurora on Tuesday, December 6, for the latest ON TO 2050 Big Ideas Forum, "Development at the Edge: The Future of Regional... Read More About ON TO 2050 Big Ideas forum evokes debate about the future of regional urbanization
November 17, 2016  

Big Ideas forum discusses aging, life for millennials in 2050

On October 27, 2016, about 100 attendees joined CMAP on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus for the latest ON TO 2050 Big Ideas forum, "Designing the Future: Gen X and Millennials... Read More About Big Ideas forum discusses aging, life for millennials in 2050
October 6, 2016  

White House releases Housing Development toolkit focused on zoning

On Monday, September 26, 2016, the White House released a Housing Development Toolkit encouraging local governments to explore modernizing local zoning regulations to spur economic... Read More About White House releases Housing Development toolkit focused on zoning
September 21, 2016  

Chinatown Community Vision Plan wins APA award

Congratulations to Chicago's Chinatown community, which will receive the Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association 2016 Strategic Plan Award.  CMAP's Local Technical Assistance... Read More About Chinatown Community Vision Plan wins APA award
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The cumulative choices of 284 municipalities and seven counties determine quality of life and economic prosperity across our region. With local autonomy over land use comes the responsibility to consider how those decisions shape a community's livability, including how they affect neighboring communities and the region as a whole. As a region, we need to implement policies and investments that make livability the highest priority.
 
Livable communities are created through effective planning and decisions by local officials, developers, and individual residents. Therefore, one of GO TO 2040's highest priorities is to promote comprehensive planning in communities across our seven counties. This includes not only land use and transportation planning, but also planning for future housing supply and demand, and ensuring that local zoning ordinances are aligned with local plans. 
 
GO TO 2040 also recommends the use of green techniques for new development and redevelopment to improve energy efficiency, while also helping to reduce water consumption and improve stormwater management. Though we live in an area where fresh water seems abundant, our water is not a limitless resource. Over the next 30 years, water and energy resources will likely become more limited, affecting residents, businesses, and local governments alike. Improving our water and energy efficiency will save money and head off shortages that could profoundly affect our quality of life.
 
Residents in livable communities tend to make fewer automobile trips, which will reduce fuel consumption and pollution from transportation, our region's second greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions—mostly from cars and trucks. When residents are able to live near their jobs, it helps to reduce travel costs, pollution, and congestion. Efficient use of land that supports walking, bicycling, and access to transit also reduces energy consumption—saving money for individuals, communities, and the region. 
 
A century ago, Daniel Burnham understood that parks and open space were central to the region's quality of life and environment when developing the 1909 Plan of Chicago, which led to the network of parks, forest preserves, and lakefront areas that we now enjoy. Today, that network must grow along with our region through planned investments in a regional network of "green" infrastructure corridors that connect our parks and open spaces. The GO TO 2040 plan also calls for us to strengthen our region's food systems. Illinois has some of the most fertile soils in the country.  While Illinois farmers grow only six percent of the produce consumed in the state, we could grow much more. 
 
Our region faces significant obstacles to achieving livable communities. At present, many of us have no choice but to drive because our communities were designed primarily for car travel. Often residents live long distances from where they work because jobs and housing in our region are far apart. Too many communities lack access to parks and healthy food. And rapid consumption of land and other natural resources contributes to environmental problems across the region. By committing to achieving livability, local communities can help to create a more sustainable, prosperous, and economically competitive region. 
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