Posted on October 17, 2008 4:36 AM
Weekly update, 10/17/08
Weekly Update, 10/17/08
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.
Tollway improvements. On Wednesday, Governor Blagojevich announced that the Illinois Tollway will begin a new phase of its Congestion Relief Program that will include the introduction of green lanes and construction of interchanges. Titled "Tomorrow's Transportation Today," the initiative is described in a press release from the Governor's office. I think it's welcome news, with $1.8 billion for necessary operational improvements to the region's existing expressway system. In particular, our agency supports the use of managed, multi-modal lanes to increase traffic flow and the emphasis on promoting public transit. This is an important new phase of the Congestion Relief Program that should help people and goods move more freely throughout our region. CMAP is eager to work with the Tollway and its partners to help implement measures that will reduce congestion in northeastern Illinois.
Foreclosure prevention and mitigation. This week, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation committed $68 million in grants and low-interest loans to fund Chicago neighborhood efforts to prevent and mitigate foreclosures. According to the Foundation's press release, this represents the largest effort in the U.S. by a private foundation to address the foreclosure crisis. Grantees include Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, the Chicago office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the Greater Southwest Development Corporation, each of whom is a partner in CMAP's Full Circle community planning and mapping initiative.
Know Your Chicago.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, I had the extreme pleasure of speaking as part of the Know Your Chicago
fall lecture and tour series. It's easy to see why they are in their 60th year of promoting civic awareness and participation. The tour committee, led by Susan Aaron and Pam Sheffield, worked many months in preparing the program, and our tour was just one of several offered this week. Our session emphasized the need for effective planning, from Daniel Burnham to the present day. Attendees learned about the Burnham Centennial
, the Roosevelt Square development, the new Public Housing Museum
, the Chicago 2016 Olympics bid, and of course GO TO 2040
. I highly recommend Know Your Chicago, if you ever get the chance to attend -- which is easier said than done, because tickets are apportioned by lottery due to the high demand. It's great to see so many people who are passionate about the future of our region.Fairfield Challenge.
CMAP is partnering with the Chicago Botanic Garden's Fairchild Challenge
, a free multidisciplinary contest that encourages Chicago-area high schools to take action on behalf of the environment. Students participate in the Challenge by submitting entries in up to eleven categories that include land use planning, photojournalism, t-shirt design, music composition, environmental action, and more. The Fairchild Challenge fosters interest in the environment by encouraging students to appreciate the beauty and value of nature; develop critical thinking skills; understand the need for biodiversity and conservation; tap community resources; become actively engaged citizens; and recognize that individuals do indeed make a difference. Participation in the Fairchild Challenge is free and open to all high schools in Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Kenosha (WI), Lake (IL and IN), McHenry, and Will counties. Students and teachers outside these counties may still participate. Contact Tree Sturman for details (847-835-8343 or email@example.com
). The Fairchild Challenge Teacher Orientation and complimentary brunch will be held on Saturday, October 25, 2008, from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Children’s Learning Center. Teachers can learn from veteran Challenge participants, view exemplary student work, and receive free art supplies. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
.GO TO 2040 Community Conversations.
for an updated list of Community Conversations that CMAP has scheduled for residents to discuss the GO TO 2040
campaign. Next week, we have one meeting scheduled at The Gary Comer Youth Center (7200 S. Ingleside Avenue, Chicago) on Tuesday, October 21, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. Please contact Diana Torres for more information (312-386-8774 or email@example.com
).Liquid Assets film premiere.
The new documentary Liquid Assets
will have its Chicago premiere on Monday, November 17, 2008, at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 North State Street in Chicago. It explores the history, engineering, and political and economic challenges of our public and private water systems, and engages communities in local discussion about drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure issues. With the film's director Stephanie Ayanian in attendance, the event will start with a reception at 7:00 p.m. The showing will begin at 8:00 p.m., followed at 9:30 by discussion. Admission is free, but seating is limited to 197 and on-line registration is required at http://www.metroplanning.org/calendar.asp. For details, contact Josh Ellis (firstname.lastname@example.org
or 312-863-6045). The premiere coincides with a conference earlier the same day on Rebuilding and Renewing America: Infrastructure Choices in the Great Lakes Megaregion
, sponsored by the Metropolitan Planning Council and New York's Regional Plan Association.