LTA press release, 10-20-15


Press Contact: Hillary Beata, CMAP communications senior (312-386-8619 or

Twenty-two new projects direct resources to communities for local implementation of GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan

Fifth round of Local Technical Assistance projects will support communities in building a strong, livable, and prosperous region

CHICAGO, October 20, 2015 -- Local governments, nonprofits, and intergovernmental collaborations will work with staff of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to address local issues at the intersection of transportation, land use, and housing, including the natural environment, economic growth, and community development. 

CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program will initiate 22 new projects, bringing its five-year total to 160 projects designed to help the region's communities plan for increased livability, sustainability, and economic vitality.

"CMAP continues to see that there is local demand for effective planning," said Bob Dean, CMAP deputy executive director of planning. "The LTA program helps augment community capacity and connect municipalities, partners, and stakeholders in collaborative efforts that support an improved quality of life and economic prosperity.

This year, CMAP encouraged proposals that demonstrated an alignment with the recommendations of GO TO 2040 as well as the LTA program's broadened focus on providing assistance with economic development and reinvestment; stormwater, flooding, and disaster resilience.  Project types include multimodal transportation plans, comprehensive plans, a subregional economic growth plan, and implementation of previously completed LTA plans, among many others.  Visit for project descriptions  and a map of selected projects.

One goal this year was to select projects for implementing plans that were previously completed as part of the LTA program.  Projects that build on past LTA plans include stormwater planning assistance for both Berwyn and Richton Park, a unified development ordinance for Harvard, and a downtown-focused zoning revision for Chicago Heights.

Among other new projects are comprehensive plans for Romeoville and Des Plaines, a subarea plan for the North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council, a downtown parking study for Lisle, and a corridor plan for Wilmington along Illinois Route 53.

CMAP also selected a number of interjurisdictional programs this year. Palos Park and the Cook County Forest Preserves will improve local trail connections at the western end of the Cal-Sag Trail, a recently opened recreational trail that received funding through the CMAP Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program.  A multi-agency group known as Impact DuPage will receive assistance with scoping affordable housing improvements in the County.  McHenry County, with support from numerous other partners, will study segments of the Fox River and develop a corridor plan.

"Planning at a regional scale requires local input and action," said Carolyn Schofield, McHenry County Board member. "From a County perspective, CMAP's LTA program builds continuity among planning efforts and an understanding that issues don't stop at municipalities' borders.  I am pleased that CMAP will be building upon the Fox River corridor study with the Villages of Carpentersville and Algonquin to focus on increasing access to the river, improving water quality, and enhancing downtown areas."

CMAP's LTA program depends on partner support to build local capacity and implement LTA-sponsored plans across northeastern Illinois. New this year, the Cook County Department of Public Health's (CCDPH) Healthy HotSpot initiative partnered with CMAP and the Regional Transportation Authority on a joint application to solicit proposals for developing pedestrian and bicycle active transportation plans in suburban Cook County.

Other LTA partners include the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, the Metropolitan Planning Council, Center for Neighborhood Technology, The Chicago Community Trust, 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, The Chicago Community Trust, the MacArthur Foundation, and Cook County. 


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.