Residents of metropolitan Chicago live and work here because of the many opportunities for prosperity that the region offers. We are home to diverse industries, a well-educated workforce, and world class institutions of higher education. The region remains a nexus for rail, air, water, and automotive transportation in North America. In the past decade, the region has made great strides on investing in its transit and road networks, preserving high-quality open space, and fostering livable communities. At the same time, we are struggling to keep up with our peers economically, making do with less revenue to maintain our aging infrastructure, and facing growing inequality.
The Chicago region has a tradition of seizing its destiny rather than leaving the future to chance. To thrive, we must address our challenges collaboratively and ensure metropolitan Chicago's status as a global center of commerce, a place where opportunity is open to all.
Our progress has stalled for reasons that are complex but by no means irreversible. By systematically investing in our residents, infrastructure, and communities, as a region we can make tangible progress toward broad, lasting prosperity and quality of life. Most important, while we possess the assets necessary to succeed, we are strongest when we coordinate our efforts region-wide.
In developing this ON TO 2050 comprehensive regional plan, CMAP spent approximately three years working with partners to conduct extensive research, issue more than two dozen reports, and engage over 100,000 residents of the seven-county region. The plan affirms and builds on the recommendations of its predecessor, GO TO 2040, to offer specific direction where needed and identify additional priorities. The plan process identified three clear, overarching principles:
Inclusive Growth: Growing our economy through opportunity for all.
Resilience: Preparing for rapid changes, both known and unknown.
Prioritized Investment: Carefully target resources to maximize benefit.
These principles will inform every recommendation in ON TO 2050's five chapters of Community, Prosperity, Environment, Governance, and Mobility.