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Metropolitan Planning Council Re-Connection

Attend MPC roundtables next week to network and learn more about Bus Rapid Transit and housing reinvestment

EAH Roundtable

UofChicago, OTTO Engineering transforming communities through housing


Register now for Feb. 27 roundtable!

One is an academic institution in the heart of the city of Chicago; the other is a manufacturing company located 40 miles northwest in suburban Carpentersville, Ill., population 38,062. Though it may seem unlikely, University of Chicago and OTTO Engineering have some things in common: Both of these large employers are anchoring community redevelopment by investing in their local housing markets. Come learn from their success stories on Feb. 27!

Central loop BRT proposed design

Bus Rapid Transit on a roll in Chicago  

On the heels of the City announcing lane configurations for the Central Loop BRT route, MPC is hosting a roundtable March 1 to provide updates on Chicago's big BRT plans. Register now!

The City of Chicago is developing a BRT system plan that scopes out future priority routes across the city. Already, individual routes are in the works: The City just unveiled the proposed lane configurations for the Central Loop BRT route, scheduled to start service in 2014. Soon the City will announce the locally preferred alternative for the Western and Ashland corridors, and begin a land use study for both corridors. Register today to attend MPC's March 1 roundtable where you'll learn more about these and other BRT plans.

The next phase in solving foreclosure fallout: Make single-family rental homes a regional asset

As communities continue to struggle with foreclosures, vacant homes are accumulating quickly even as fewer and fewer people can qualify for mortgages to buy them. What can be done with the region's growing inventory of vacant, abandoned homes? One solution is renting out single-family homes, but some communities are wary due to a history with irresponsible landlords, while some investors are struggling to find ways to manage properties effectively. At a Jan. 30 forum, MPC released a white paper that we will continue to adapt to help communities and investors work together to ensure this growing segment of our housing stock is an asset.

Read part one of a two-part blog series on the forum.

What Our Water

It's not easy selling green (infrastructure)

When first-time homebuyers Kirsten Bjork and Bill Brown received a postcard from MPC and Ald. Rey Colon’s office notifying them that their Logan Square property is eligible for state funding to make stormwater management renovations, they jumped at the opportunity. With the funding, they designed a new yard with rain gardens, native grasses, and permeable paving, to allow rain that falls on their property to soak into the earth, rather than run off into already overwhelmed sewers and contribute to neighborhood flooding.

For Bjork and Brown, making an impact in Logan Square was a big driver, but not everyone has such altruistic motivations. MPC is leading two green infrastructure incentives initiatives – the other in Blue Island – not only to help property owners and their communities, but also to demonstrate what makes these types of programs work – or not. Learn more about MPC's ongoing research project on the effectiveness of green infrastructure incentives and credits, in this edition of What Our Water's Worth.

Support for MPC's water work is provided in part by Veolia Water and Illinois American Water.
Veolia Water, Illinois American Water

MPC supports HB1549 to ensure Illinois is investing wisely in transportation


Strategically investing in infrastructure projects is the ticket to economic growth. In fact, every dollar communities invest in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns, resulting in thousands more jobs, better bottom lines for businesses, and less time commuters spend sitting in gridlocked traffic. Yet state and federal resources are falling far short of what’s needed to bring our existing roads and railways to a state of good repair – much less expand them to serve a growing regional population. In order to more wisely invest these limited resources, MPC supports HB1419, the Merit Based Transportation Investments in Illinois Act.
Continue reading Talking Transit to learn more about the bill and how it works.

Get In the Loop on all the latest local, national, and international transit headlines.

Talking Transit is supported by Bombardier.

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