Posted on February 16, 2009 5:42 AM
Weekly Update, 1/16/09
Federal recovery funds. This week, the CMAP Board took action to help ensure that infrastructure funds are spent wisely in our region through the anticipated federal economic recovery package. It is no exaggeration to say that the near- and long-term economic future of northeastern Illinois is at stake. CMAP's top priority is to work with our partners to ensure that the region gets its appropriate share. Based on early indications, our region could get as little as 33 percent of the state's allocation. This would not remotely do justice to the 75 percent of the state's economic activity that takes place here.
Our position is that investments should be strategic, comprehensive, geared to real reform, and focused on metropolitan areas – the drivers of our nation’s economy. At its January 14 meeting, the CMAP Board directed staff to take a series of steps aimed at ensuring that the region benefits to the greatest extent possible from this unique infusion of federal funds for roads, transit, schools, water treatment, and other necessary infrastructure. This week's CMAP statement builds on a set of principles for federal infrastructure investments that we issued in December.
With help from Board members and agency partners, the CMAP staff and I are aggressively taking the steps outlined this week by our Board. Put simply, our region has one chance to get this right. We will keep you updated on this fast-moving issue.
Other Board meeting recap. Additionally, the Board endorsed the Federal Framework and the CMAP priorities for this state legislative session. And finally,a somewhat sad farewell to Board member Rita Athas, who stepped down from the CMAP Board this month. Rita has served as an officer on the Board since its inception and has been instrumental in getting the agency off the ground and running. We want to thank her for all of her hard work and hope that she will still remain active in CMAP since she won’t be too far away at World Business Chicago. We welcome her replacement Joe Deal, Director of External Affairs for the office of Mayor Daley.
Developments of Regional Importance (DRI). At the Programming Coordinating Committee, the committee discussed and reviewed the summary materials presented. The committee directed the staff to incorporate the comments that were received on the Developments of Regional Importance (DRI) draft document and utilize the quantitative criteria that ULI proposed and come back to the committee in February with a hopefully final process document for the committee’s discussion. If satisfied, the committee would release it for public comment for 30 days before recommending it to the CMAP Board for approval.
Burnham Centennial. If you haven't yet seen last Sunday's Chicago Tribune Magazine's extensive coverage on Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago, you can find all the links in a GO TO 2040 blog entry.
FLIP blog entry. Also in the GO TO 2040 blog is our first contribution by a participant in CMAP's Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) program for high school students. Lynda Lopez of Prosser Career Academy in Chicago writes about her opportunity through FLIP to interview Josh Edelman, the executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools Office of New Schools.
Water supply newsletter. The newsletter for January by CMAP's Regional Water Supply Planning Group is now online.
Ecosystem strategy paper. CMAP's latest GO TO 2040 strategy paper looks into ecosystem restoration, a promising strategy to preserve our natural environment as the region’s population grows in the coming decades.
Housing article. CMAP's Lee Deuben and I contributed an article to "Building America's Dream," (opens 9MB PDF) a publication of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago. Ours is on page 11 and suggests some new approaches to housing realities facing the region in 2009.
GO TO 2040 Community Conversations. Please see http://www.goto2040.org/conversations.aspx for an updated list of Community Conversations that CMAP has scheduled for residents to discuss the GO TO 2040 campaign. Next week, CMAP is collaborating with the Chicago Wilderness' Leave No Child Inside Initiative (LNCI) Community Conversation on Youth, Nature, and Faith on Wednesday, January 21st, from 9:30am to 11:30am at the CMAP office (233 S. Wacker, Sears Tower, Suite 800, Chicago IL 60606). At this event, representatives of our region's faith-based and environmental organizations will discuss the opportunities and challenges of connecting youth with nature. The event's keynote speaker will be Rev. Keith Cerk, of the First Baptist Church of Waukegan, who coordinated a program this summer that exposed at-risk youth to various environmental career paths and instilled a connection in the program participants to their community's assets. RSVP with Diana Torres (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8774) by the end of Tuesday, January 20.
Green Practices for Local Governments survey report. The Green Practices for Local Governments project began with a March 2008 survey of communities and forest, park and conservation districts in the seven-county northeastern Illinois region. The survey asked recipients to identify which of twenty-five basic "green" practices they are interested in learning more about, and which they are practicing on public property, promoting in their community, and/or have policies, regulations, or incentives. The survey questions focused on basic, straightforward practices in the categories of water, waste, energy, air quality, and green buildings. This report summarizes the survey results, supplies information and contacts to help communities seek practical advice from their peers, identifies target audiences for technical assistance, and provides a baseline for measuring progress. Upcoming workshops will focus on the topics of most interest according to survey results. Click here for 790K low-res PDF or here> for 4MB high-res printable PDF. For more information, contact Lori Heringa (312-386-8621 or email@example.com).
Great Cities Institute event. On Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 3:00 p.m., the Great Cities Institute will host "Mixed Land Use: The Case of Chicago's Downtown Areas." The location is Suite 400 CUPPA Hall, 412 South Peoria, Chicago, IL 60607. Presenters are Tingwei Zhang, Director, Asia & China Research Program in GCI, Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy, UIC and CMAP's own Lan Wang, Ph.D. Candidate (ABD), Urban Planning and Policy, UIC. Tingwei Zhang's research interests include urban development, urban policy and urban design in China, the U.S. and Southeast Asian countries. He has authored and co-authored seven books and over 130 published articles in the U.S., China, the UK, France and Switzerland. Lan Wang's research interests are mixed use development, planning process and public-private partnerships. She has worked as a CMAP research assistant since 2005 and is now conducting her dissertation research, a comparative study of mixed-use development projects in Shanghai and Chicago. RSVP by calling (312) 996-7871.
SPECIAL REMINDER. Don't forget to join CMAP's GO TO 2040 Partners Program! Please complete our simple partnership form. We'll send you a Partnership Kit with materials and a DVD to help you and your organization get involved in the region's first truly comprehensive plan. See our growing list of partners who have made the commitment to planning for a better future.