To remain strong, metropolitan Chicago requires communities, infrastructure, and systems that can thrive in the face of future economic, fiscal, and environmental uncertainties.
By achieving "Resilience," our communities can prepare for and recover from acute shocks and chronic stresses. This requires making infrastructure, natural systems, and social structures more durable. In addition to rebounding quickly from, for instance, stronger storms and frequent flooding, a resilient region can actually capitalize on these challenges. To cite one example, if extreme heat causes pavement to buckle, it can be replaced not only by a road more resistant to extreme temperatures, but one also built to mitigate flooding and ensure reliable, weather-resistant transportation.
"Resilience" refers to much more than climate change. Many communities lack the capacity -- for example, revenue, staff, expertise, equipment, and other resources -- to effectively implement local and regional goals. By pooling resources, deploying new technologies, and training staff, resilient municipalities can plan collaboratively to provide essential services even as federal and state support continues to diminish. Funding from the State of Illinois will continue to play a crucial role -- though quite an uncertain one, due to fiscal conditions -- in our region’s prosperity.
Working closely together to achieve economic resilience, our region's communities can also prepare for inevitable challenges as global markets spur a transition to new types of work in emerging industries.
Our region and its communities must anticipate and adapt to future challenges -- both known and unknown -- driven by climate, commerce, technology, and other factors.