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Livability

Livable communities are healthy, safe, and walkable, with transportation choices for timely access to schools, jobs, services, health care, and basic needs. They are what attracts residents and businesses to our region. GO TO 2040 addresses livability factors that offer residents a "sense of place."

They provide opportunities for residents to participate in recreation, the arts, and local government. CMAP's work plan emphasizes the following livability topics:

Livability Updates

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April 11, 2014

Free form-based codes workshop

CMAP and the Form-Based Codes Institute will host a free workshop on May 16. Read More About Free form-based codes workshop
April 2, 2014

Updating the GO TO 2040 Implementation Action Areas

The GO TO 2040 update process has allowed CMAP to enhance the alignment of plan recommendations with responsible parties to reflect progress and other variables. Read More About Updating the GO TO 2040 Implementation Action Areas
April 2, 2014

Smart Growth America ranks Chicago region among national leaders in effective patterns of land use

Metropolitan Chicago's land-use trends are among the top U.S. regions according to a new national report on smart growth patterns of 221 major metropolitan areas. Read More About Smart Growth America ranks Chicago region among national leaders in effective patterns of land use
April 1, 2014

Community Data Snapshots updated

CMAP's Community Data Snapshots have been updated with new information from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2008-12 American Community Survey. Read More About Community Data Snapshots updated
April 1, 2014

Muni-Blast, 4-1-14

CMAP's quarterly survey for communities highlights our biennial 2014 municipal survey, discounted registration for GreenTown, and more. Read More About Muni-Blast, 4-1-14
March 25, 2014

Parking Strategies for Berwyn

The City of Berwyn is committed to promoting a sustainable environment that enhances vitality and quality of life. Since the City adopted its Comprehensive Plan in October 2012, Berwyn has... Read More About Parking Strategies for Berwyn
March 18, 2014

White House Releases FY 2015 Budget Proposal

A CMAP Policy Update looks at regional and national implications of the Obama Administration's proposed 3.9 trillion budget for federal fiscal year 2015. Read More About White House Releases FY 2015 Budget Proposal
March 6, 2014

Fair Housing report

CMAP and the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance (CAFHA) have released Fair Housing and Equity Assessment: Metropolitan Chicago . The report finds that communities with a well-balanced supply of... Read More About Fair Housing report
February 21, 2014

Photos from Cook County plan meetings

Pictures are  available  from Cook County's Planning for Progress kickoff meeting and recent series of interactive workshops. The strategic plan will guide funding requests,... Read More About Photos from Cook County plan meetings
February 18, 2014

Selecting and Updating GO TO 2040 Indicators

The GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan established a series of indicators and related targets to gauge implementation progress. As described previously , CMAP has initiated an update to... Read More About Selecting and Updating GO TO 2040 Indicators
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Taxonomy

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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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