CMAP Media Tip Sheet
March 15, 2010
CMAP publishes Northeastern Illinois Greenways and Trails Map
A major update of the Northeastern Illinois Greenways and Trails map is now available online and in print. This is a valuable resource for hikers, bikers, planners, environmental organizations and agencies, and other stakeholders. The map is part of a regional plan -- funded by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Department of Transportation -- that envisions a network of stream- and land-based green corridors and 2,700 miles of existing and multi-use trails throughout the seven-county region. Almost 1,000 miles of the trail system are complete, which is about 500 miles more than when the plan was last updated in 1997. The envisioned greenway network can protect natural and cultural resources, provide recreational opportunities, and improve hydrological functions, while enhancing natural beauty and quality of life in neighborhoods and communities. The materials serve as a basis to plan and program funding in the region, as a framework for connecting communities with greenways and trails, and as a consideration in major infrastructure investments. Visit www.cmap.illinois.gov/providers-directory/greenways-and-trails to download the map and plan, or contact Justine Reisinger (email@example.com or 312-386-8802) for printed copies and more information.
Municipalities can address foreclosures with a new toolkit
A partnership between Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, CMAP, and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus has created a new toolkit to help municipalities mitigate the impact of vacant and abandoned buildings. Illinois has one of the highest rates of foreclosures per homeowner in the country, which can strain government resources and destabilize neighborhoods. The toolkit includes nine recommendations based on best practices in Illinois and around the U.S. For example, it suggests that each affected municipality should maintain an early warning database to identify at-risk properties and take action before problems become unmanageable. The toolkit also recommends that municipalities create vacant property registries, which can motivate owners to maintain buildings and return them to productive use. Recouping the costs of property maintenance, another recommendation, can help municipalities defray expenses incurred while maintaining vacant properties before an owner can be found. Read more in the toolkit overview and visit BPI's Vacant Property Resources website.
CMAP keeps the region (including media) updated on quality-of-life issues
CMAP offers a variety of e-newsletters and blogs to update you on planning-related developments in the region. Many of these relate to GO TO 2040, the comprehensive regional plan whose implementation will begin in October 2010. We respect your privacy, so you may easily opt out of any distribution, should you change your mind after subscribing.
- Weekly Updates. Executive director Randy Blankenhorn sends out an e-newsletter every Friday with news, resources, and updates relating to CMAP and regional planning issues like transportation, housing, and management of our natural resources. Visit www.cmap.illinois.gov/updates for archived updates and to subscribe to the Weekly Update RSS Feed.
- Regional Response to ARRA. Since early 2009, CMAP has been closely tracking the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and its regional progress on the agency's Recovery blog. CMAP's Economic Recovery Update e-mail is sent every other week with regional news and updates relating to the stimulus. Visit www.cmap.illinois.gov/archive-blog to view the blog, subscribe to its RSS Feed, and browse archived Economic Recovery Updates.
- Soles and Spokes. CMAP's newest blog focuses on bicycle and pedestrian issues. Visit www.cmap.illinois.gov/soles-and-spokes to subscribe to its RSS feed.
- Water 2050 newsletter. Now that the Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Supply/Demand Plan is complete, the planning group's e-newsletter has become Water 2050. The newsletter will be sent every other month to help stakeholders implement the water plan's recommendations and to promote water conservation and demand management. Visit www.cmap.illinois.gov/waterplan to view the newsletter and the regional water plan.
- GO TO 2040 blog. Read posts from CMAP staff and guests on planning issues as they tie into the GO TO 2040 planning process. Visit www.cmap.illinois.gov/blog to subscribe to its RSS feed.
About CMAP. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is the comprehensive regional planning organization for the northeastern Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. By state and federal law, CMAP is responsible for producing the region's official, integrated plan for land use and transportation. The agency's innovative GO TO 2040 planning campaign will develop and implement strategies to shape the region's transportation system and development patterns, while also addressing the natural environment, economic development, housing, education, human services, and other factors shaping quality of life. See www.cmap.illinois.gov for more information.