Compared to the public education parts of CCC (activities 1 through 4), this activity offers opinions that are more strategic and tactical in developing regional solutions. This activity will evolve through two phases. The first phase is all of 2010 and largely reprints or summarizes articles from other websites and publications about The 2040 Plan. Of course, we will take original submissions from you; but for 2010, we ask people first to submit essays for 1 Book, 1 Chicagoland since that is a lower threshold of effort for all.

In 2011, Phase 2 starts. It has three innovations.

First, our goal is to have a majority of articles that are original pieces proposing regional resolutions.

Second, we will encourage public comments on articles. (We currently can’t in Phase 1 because of the time required to monitor them.)

Third, we will encourage graphic relief to avoid too many words and encourage the writing to be pithier. Photos with captions are encouraged. Powerpoint presentations are welcome.

But for 2010, please read these reprints and suggest some others we should post.



If you think CCC should reprint an article or posting, tell us why and give us the web address by emailing:

If you want to submit an original piece about how Chicagoland can solve its problems, describe your concept in 100 words or less and also use the above email address.



Articles Commenting On The 2040 Plan

This activity was posted in July 2010. You'll note that there are no articles reprinted yet. The short explanation is that most articles are reports and don't offer in-depth analysis.

Here is the longer explanation of why we have not selected any articles to reprint or summarize yet.

To end the cross-purposes of having separate agencies for land use and transportation planning, the Illinois Assembly in 2006 created CMAP (The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning) and charged it to merge these two functions of regional planning. The Assembly also charged CMAP to develop The 2040 Plan; recently approved by CMAP's Boards. However because the Assembly only gave CMAP advisory powers, it means that municipalities do not have to follow The Plan's land use recommendations. After all, these are the rules of Chicagoland's 20th Century developoment. But, these rules also have led to our sprawling metropolis. So, it seems reasonable to question those old rules as suitable while writing a 21st Century plan; particularly since we are struggling through economic doldrums and ongoing fiscal crises.

As a positive step, The Plan's proposals largely follow the consensus of planners that Transit-Oriented Development (creating compact communities that facilitate alternatives to the auto.) The Plan suggests transit-supportive land use practices should not only be a priority around existing and future transit nodes, but beyond those immediate neighborhoods as well. Because it increases ridership, TOD is known to have great economic benefits of reducing transit subsidies per rider and household costs for transportation, usually by over 10%. And TOD offers significant health and safety benefits of reducing carbon emissions and leading to healthier lifestyles. Plus, the homes are more affordable to moderate incomes.

Yet as a practical matter, TODs mean that perhaps as many as 90% of Chicagoland's 280+ suburbs should update their land use plans. And since many municipalities lack the staff time, CMAP offers to help with the re-planning. But, that is about as far as the land use recommendations of The Plan can go.

But, there is an opening for the type of progress we need. Prominent in The 2040 Plan is a list of transportation improvements, most of which update existing expressways, bus networks and rails. In a startling fact about the costs over the next 30 years, only 3% of this transit infrastructure is capital and the remaining 97% is operating subsidy. So obviously by encouraging more riders, TOD increases farebox revenue and reduces that 97% subsidy.

In the press and newsletters of organizations that participated in developing The 2040 Plan, many articles review The Plan. But CCC is not aware of any articles that pointedly ask: Should The 2040 Plan advocate that transit investments only be made to those projects that have supportive land uses that maximize riders and minimize on-going subsidies?

If you know of such article bold enough to ask that taxpayers and households should get the most bang-for-their-transportation-buck, then let us know. CCC will summarize and link it here.

Articles On Related Regional Topics