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Livability Updates

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October 6, 2016  

White House releases Housing Development toolkit focused on zoning

On Monday, September 26, 2016, the White House released a Housing Development Toolkit encouraging local governments to explore modernizing local zoning regulations to spur economic... Read More About White House releases Housing Development toolkit focused on zoning
September 21, 2016  

Chinatown Community Vision Plan wins APA award

Congratulations to Chicago's Chinatown community, which will receive the Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association 2016 Strategic Plan Award.  CMAP's Local Technical Assistance... Read More About Chinatown Community Vision Plan wins APA award
May 10, 2016  

CMAP Local Technical Assistance and RTA Community Planning programs

Unfortunately, due to state budget issues, neither CMAP nor RTA will be issuing a call for local technical assistance or community planning projects this year. Read More About CMAP Local Technical Assistance and RTA Community Planning programs
April 28, 2016  

Municipal Matters, 4-27-16

This quarterly CMAP newsletter includes planning news and resources that can help municipal officials and planners like you to implement livability recommendations from the GO TO 2040 and... Read More About Municipal Matters, 4-27-16
March 9, 2016  

ON TO 2050 launch event recap

CMAP was delighted to welcome several hundred residents, non-profit organizations, units of local government, private employers, and other stakeholders on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, to kick off... Read More About ON TO 2050 launch event recap
March 3, 2016  

WTTW previews launch of ON TO 2050 plan development

On February 23, 2016, WTTW's Geoffrey Baer explained the importance ON TO 2050, the new regional comprehensive plan process for metro Chicago. Read More About WTTW previews launch of ON TO 2050 plan development
February 23, 2016  

ON TO 2050 open house POSTPONED to March 2

With great regret, we must postpone tomorrow's ON TO 2050 launch event. The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts are trending toward a more major storm than predicted earlier today. Our... Read More About ON TO 2050 open house POSTPONED to March 2
January 14, 2016  

CMAP Next Plan Launch Event, 2-24-16

Please join us to launch the development of an entirely new regional comprehensive plan, building on the GO TO 2040 plan that was adopted in October 2010. Read More About CMAP Next Plan Launch Event, 2-24-16
December 4, 2015  

The senior population of northeastern Illinois continues to grow

This Policy Update looks at the data behind the region's growing senior population. Read More About The senior population of northeastern Illinois continues to grow
November 4, 2015  

Adopting Accessibility Standards

What makes for a "livable community?"  GO TO 2040 , the comprehensive regional plan for northeastern Illinois, envisions a region with a dynamic economy, abundant open spaces, a strong... Read More About Adopting Accessibility Standards
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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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