Press Release, 10-14-10
Justine Reisinger (312-386-8802 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tom Garritano (312-386-8609 or email@example.com)
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning awarded $4.25 million grant to implement GO TO 2040
Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant will fund new GO TO 2040 Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program
CHICAGO, October 14, 2010 -- On the heels of yesterday's unanimous adoption of the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program has awarded $4.25 million to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to spur implementation of the new plan.
GO TO 2040 links transportation, land use, housing, economic growth, the natural environment, and human and community development, with the overarching goals of improving livability and bringing about sustainable prosperity. This grant will advance the implementation of the plan by funding the GO TO 2040 Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, which will create new resources for technical assistance and result in a series of innovative, replicable projects in the Chicago region that support livability principles and build capacity in local communities.
"Coming just one day after our seven-county region unanimously adopted its new comprehensive plan, this HUD award literally could not have come at a better time," said Randy Blankenhorn, executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, which developed the GO TO 2040 plan and will now lead its implementation with support from the HUD grant. "The Sustainable Communities Initiative is a bold step in breaking down traditional barriers to effective plans and programs. The technical assistance that this award will help us to carry out regionwide will jumpstart our communities' local efforts to implement the GO TO 2040 recommendations. The plan's implementation is largely in those communities' hands, and now they have crucial resources that would not have been available without this innovative new federal program."
The LTA program will focus on the intersection between housing, land use, and transportation – three inextricably linked areas. While CMAP will be the lead coordinator of this grant, a broad and diverse consortium was assembled with many local governments, regional and state agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and philanthropic groups that will be involved in the LTA program, including The Chicago Community Trust, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Chicago Metropolis 2020, Metropolitan Planning Council, and Regional Transportation Authority.
"This HUD award will leverage existing initiatives and investments of The Chicago Community Trust and other non-profit partners," said Ngoan Le, Vice President of Program for the Trust, which helped to fund and research significant aspects of the GO TO 2040 plan. "Funding from HUD and resources from local philanthropy are precisely the type of incentive our region and its communities need to align programs for housing, land use, and transportation, along with other issues -- such as energy conservation, environmental protection and green infrastructure, food access and local food, arts and culture, workforce development and public health – which are all high priorities of GO TO 2040."
GO TO 2040 seeks to strategically align public policies and investments, maximizing the benefits of scarce resources as the region adds more than 2 million new residents by 2040. The plan, which is available at www.cmap.illinois.gov/2040, reflects more than three years of research and careful deliberation by CMAP, its partners, and stakeholders, including feedback from more than 35,000 residents. Its four themes are Livable Communities, Human Capital, Efficient Governance, and Regional Mobility, which include detailed recommendations on how to address issues such as land use, housing, water and energy, parks and open space, food systems, education and workforce development, state and local tax policy, and transportation.
"CMAP would like to thank HUD and the Partnership for Sustainable Communities for investing in regional planning, as well as Senator Richard Durbin and the entire Illinois congressional delegation for their support and leadership," Blankenhorn said. "One of our plan's recommendations is to coordinate government activities for maximum efficiency, and this federal Sustainable Communities Initiative is an important step. It could not have happened without the vision of our elected leaders in Washington."
About CMAP. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is the comprehensive regional planning organization for the northeastern Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. By state and federal law, CMAP is responsible for producing the region's official, integrated plan for land use and transportation. The agency's innovative GO TO 2040 planning campaign develops and implements strategies to shape the region's transportation system and development patterns, while also addressing the natural environment, economic development, housing, education, human services, and other factors shaping quality of life. See www.cmap.illinois.gov for more information.