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Livability Updates

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August 20, 2015  

Tools can help municipalities and leaders plan for stormwater management

Several organizations have developed new resources to help communities use green infrastructure principles in stormwater management decisions. Read More About Tools can help municipalities and leaders plan for stormwater management
July 28, 2015  

Advances and challenges in accessibility

A new post explores the impact of Americans with Disabilities Act has had since being enacted twenty-five years ago. Read More About Advances and challenges in accessibility
July 27, 2015  

Proposed CMAQ/TAP projects available for public review

CMAP has released the proposed projects for its Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program and Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). Read More About Proposed CMAQ/TAP projects available for public review
July 27, 2015  

GO TO 2040/FFY 2014-19 TIP Conformity Analysis and TIP Amendment comment period

See the amendment that would add two projects and a handful of modifications to existing projects to CMAP's Transportation Implementation Program. Read More About GO TO 2040/FFY 2014-19 TIP Conformity Analysis and TIP Amendment comment period
July 24, 2015  

New HUD rule on affirmatively furthering fair housing

A CMAP Policy Update examines the broad implications of the rule and how channeling resources in ways that expand housing options for all can help metropolitan Chicago achieve several important goals. Read More About New HUD rule on affirmatively furthering fair housing
July 20, 2015  

Resilience Application Highlights Impact of Urban Flooding

Spurred by 2013's record-breaking floods, CMAP is helping a coordinated effort to build resilience to flooding and other climate impacts in the state. Read More About Resilience Application Highlights Impact of Urban Flooding
July 17, 2015  

High school summer program introduces students to opportunities in planning

Forty-five high school students from across the seven-county region participated in the eighth session of Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) spending July 10-17, 2015, learning about the many... Read More About High school summer program introduces students to opportunities in planning
July 9, 2015  

Regional Housing Initiative supports affordable housing development in opportunity areas

CMAP is collaborating with BRicK Partners, the Metropolitan Planning Council, the Illinois Housing Development Authority, and nine other housing authorities in the region to encourage a diverse... Read More About Regional Housing Initiative supports affordable housing development in opportunity areas
June 24, 2015  

Vouchers for green public vehicles

The City of Chicago is looking for taxi, livery, and similar public passenger fleet vendors interested in reducing their fleets‘ carbon footprint to apply for the Drive Clean Taxi program.... Read More About Vouchers for green public vehicles
June 18, 2015  

Chi-Cal Rivers Fund call for proposals

The Chi–Cal Rivers Fund is looking for project proposals that will reduce stormwater runoff with green infrastructure, enhance fish and wildlife habitat, and improve public-use... Read More About Chi-Cal Rivers Fund call for proposals
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The cumulative choices of 284 municipalities and seven counties determine quality of life and economic prosperity across our region. With local autonomy over land use comes the responsibility to consider how those decisions shape a community's livability, including how they affect neighboring communities and the region as a whole. As a region, we need to implement policies and investments that make livability the highest priority.
 
Livable communities are created through effective planning and decisions by local officials, developers, and individual residents. Therefore, one of GO TO 2040's highest priorities is to promote comprehensive planning in communities across our seven counties. This includes not only land use and transportation planning, but also planning for future housing supply and demand, and ensuring that local zoning ordinances are aligned with local plans. 
 
GO TO 2040 also recommends the use of green techniques for new development and redevelopment to improve energy efficiency, while also helping to reduce water consumption and improve stormwater management. Though we live in an area where fresh water seems abundant, our water is not a limitless resource. Over the next 30 years, water and energy resources will likely become more limited, affecting residents, businesses, and local governments alike. Improving our water and energy efficiency will save money and head off shortages that could profoundly affect our quality of life.
 
Residents in livable communities tend to make fewer automobile trips, which will reduce fuel consumption and pollution from transportation, our region's second greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions—mostly from cars and trucks. When residents are able to live near their jobs, it helps to reduce travel costs, pollution, and congestion. Efficient use of land that supports walking, bicycling, and access to transit also reduces energy consumption—saving money for individuals, communities, and the region. 
 
A century ago, Daniel Burnham understood that parks and open space were central to the region's quality of life and environment when developing the 1909 Plan of Chicago, which led to the network of parks, forest preserves, and lakefront areas that we now enjoy. Today, that network must grow along with our region through planned investments in a regional network of "green" infrastructure corridors that connect our parks and open spaces. The GO TO 2040 plan also calls for us to strengthen our region's food systems. Illinois has some of the most fertile soils in the country.  While Illinois farmers grow only six percent of the produce consumed in the state, we could grow much more. 
 
Our region faces significant obstacles to achieving livable communities. At present, many of us have no choice but to drive because our communities were designed primarily for car travel. Often residents live long distances from where they work because jobs and housing in our region are far apart. Too many communities lack access to parks and healthy food. And rapid consumption of land and other natural resources contributes to environmental problems across the region. By committing to achieving livability, local communities can help to create a more sustainable, prosperous, and economically competitive region. 
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