LTA Press Release 10-16-14

Justine Reisinger (312-386-8802 and
Hillary Green (312-386-8619 and

Twenty-five new projects will help implement the GO TO 2040 comprehensive plan in communities across metropolitan Chicago

Fourth round of Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) Local Technical Assistance projects will support goals of building a strong, livable, and prosperous region

CHICAGO, October 16, 2014 - More than two dozen new projects led by local governments and nonprofits will receive staff assistance or grants to drive implementation of the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan.

Since 2011, the CMAP Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program has sponsored over 100 projects to help the region's communities plan for livability, economic competitiveness, and improved quality of life for residents.

"Now in its fourth year, LTA continues to help strengthen existing communities, as recommended by GO TO 2040," said Randy Blankenhorn, CMAP executive director. "Community capacity for planning is often limited, and this program helps bridge that gap while also facilitating municipalities' efforts to collaborate with their neighbors and other stakeholder organizations. The result is improved quality of life and economic prosperity, both locally and regionally."

This year, CMAP encouraged proposals that focus on implementation of past plans, such as updates of zoning and regulations, creation of capital improvement plans, and analysis of municipal review procedures. Other project types include comprehensive plans, bicycle and pedestrian plans, and county-wide economic development efforts, among many others. Visit for a full list and map of selected projects.

Projects that build off past plans include the City of Blue Island capital improvement program and Village of Bensenville zoning update. In Blue Island, CMAP will assist the city on a capital improvement program, implementing recommendations from the community's LTA-developed comprehensive plan. The Village of Bensenville will receive assistance to update zoning codes to better align with priorities found in its comprehensive plan.

Among other new projects are a downtown master plan incorporating arts-based "placemaking" for the City of Aurora, a transportation plan to support the proposed Pullman National Historic Park in Chicago, and a comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) for McHenry County.

Planning issues do not stop at village borders. Neighboring municipalities often need to collaborate in seeking solutions. CMAP selected a number of interjurisdictional project applications this year. Franklin Park submitted an application along with ten other communities, to develop a truck routing and infrastructure plan in the O'Hare International Airport area of DuPage and Cook Counties. Based on recommendations from CMAP's O'Hare Subregional Freight-Manufacturing Drill-Down Report, this project will address disconnected truck routes, poor roadway conditions, and congestion.

Two regional projects were accepted into the 2015 LTA program. One application, submitted jointly by all seven of the region's Counties, involves a regional truck permitting plan. Another regional project, submitted by the Chicago Metro Metal Consortium, a coalition of Counties, manufacturing industry representatives, economic developers, and others, will help this group to review and evaluate the impact of potential infrastructure investments on the region's metal manufacturing cluster. Both of these projects highlight the importance of investing in regional infrastructure to enhance the region's economic competiveness.

"To remain a strong and vibrant region, we must recognize that we are all part of one metropolitan Chicago economy," said Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, "which is why I am thrilled that the LTA program supports so many opportunities for communities to work together across jurisdictions, helping them create and implement plans that make a real difference in residents' lives. I am particularly pleased that the CMAP board approved support for Metro Chicago Exports, streamlined truck permitting and support for the Chicago Metro Metals Consortium. These projects represent priorities for my administration and grew directly out of the historic and unprecedented regional collaboration that I catalyzed among the seven counties in northeastern Illinois last year."

CMAP's LTA program is dependent upon partner support to build local capacity and implement LTA-sponsored plans across northeastern Illinois. The LTA program is coordinated annually with the Regional Transportation Authority's Community Planning Program. Other LTA partners include the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, the Metropolitan Planning Council, Center for Neighborhood Technology, The Chicago Community Trust, and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Chicago, and transportation and planning agencies across the region.

CMAP established the LTA program shortly after GO TO 2040's adoption in October 2010 with a $4.25 million three-year federal grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Since the HUD grant expired in January 2014, the program has been supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Illinois Attorney General, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and The Chicago Community Trust. 


About CMAP.  The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning is the region's official comprehensive planning organization.  Its GO TO 2040 plan is helping the seven counties and 284 communities of northeastern Illinois to implement strategies that address transportation, housing, economic development, open space, the environment, and other quality-of-life issues.  See for more information.