This Saturday, October 10, marks the two-year anniversary of ON TO 2050. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since the launch event in Millennium Park, when CMAP gathered with partners, policymakers, and community members to celebrate a new comprehensive plan for our region.
Over the past year, we’ve rolled up our sleeves and pushed forward with implementing the plan. In particular, we identified three key areas where we can advance: transportation, climate, and the regional economy. Our transportation system is our competitive advantage and supports our diverse industries. Our region has critical natural resources, but we’re already seeing the impacts of climate change. And we can, and must, grow our economy in ways that benefit everyone across the region.
We are proud of the progress made so far, and are so thankful for all our partners who have helped us achieve more than we could alone. Our region has received more than $9 million in investments in projects from Rebuild Illinois. We have partnered on 10 projects related to Invest in Cook, and we have worked with communities across the region on applications for the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program, with a focus on implementing improvements such as better bike and pedestrian facilities. These achievements, and many others, have all been made in support of ON TO 2050.
Our region has also faced many challenges this year. Still, I believe this has only deepened our commitment to the plan and underscored the importance of its central principles: resilience, inclusive growth, and prioritized investment. Now more than ever, we must leverage our collective strengths to achieve these goals and the future we all want. I’m reminded of the words of John Hatcher, Jr., a then-high school student from Sauk Village, who spoke at our ON TO 2050 launch: “Yes, our challenges are complex. That’s all the more reason we all need to work together toward a more peaceful and inclusive 2050.”
Erin Aleman, CMAP Executive Director