ON TO 2050 will make the region and its communities stronger by targeting resources, improving planning, encouraging collaboration on fiscal and economic issues, preserving high quality open space and agricultural assets, and promoting housing choice.
[GRAPHIC TO COME: Photos of changing development in the region.]
ON TO 2050 continues our region's emphasis on reinvesting in communities and infrastructure, while also offering new guidance to enhance quality of life. Supportive initiatives by many actors will collectively enable progress toward these goals. Some communities have a wealth of expertise and resources for these initiatives, while others struggle to raise revenues for basic services. Reinvestment can be complex and costly. Progress will require targeted, coordinated action by transportation, funding, land use, housing, environmental, and economic development programs that are sometimes disconnected. ON TO 2050 envisions comprehensive action by municipalities, CMAP, counties, Councils of Governments, the State of Illinois, transportation providers, the federal government, and civic organizations to support local decision making and continue to foster high quality places through 2050.
ON TO 2050 also emphasizes preserving high quality lands and implementing sustainable development patterns with fiscally responsible expansion. Many communities make expansion a high priority. Such growth can be implemented in ways that preserve natural assets and reduce long-term costs. Continued land preservation conserves our natural assets today and for future generations. Implementing new development in ways that make efficient use of existing and new infrastructure will limit long-term costs and support resilience.
Creating and sustaining vibrant communities can help the region compete and thrive, offering residents and business many choices for where to live and work. Increasingly here and nationwide, people want diverse, walkable, and accessible communities with popular amenities, in both urban and suburban locations. Meeting this demand will also support transit and ease commutes. Most importantly, the region cannot succeed without concerted investment in communities that have been left behind to rebuild jobs, amenities, and resources. Investment for continued economic growth and success for the entire region should include investments in communities with limited resources for rebuilding infrastructure and amenities needed for jobs, housing choices, and healthy living.
This chapter outlines recommendations to promote:
- Inclusive growth by rebuilding communities, increasing local revenues, and enhancing local government capacity and expertise.
- Resilience by preserving high quality natural areas, incorporating sustainable practices into all development, and leveraging data and expertise to plan for market realities, infrastructure needs, and fiscal stability.
- Prioritized investment in and careful expansion of our built environment.