Chicago's Regional Planning Gets Boost from HUD Grant

The following is a guest post from SGA coalition partner Center for Neighborhood Techology, and is part of an ongoing series about winners of the 2010 Partnership for Sustainable Communities federal grants. If your organization applied for, considered applying for or was awarded one of these grants, we want to hear about your experience! Tell us about it here.

Chicago’s Metropolitan Agency for Planning recently won a $4.25 million Sustainable Communities Regional Planning grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to begin making the Agency’s ambitious long-range development plans a reality. Chicago’s GO TO 2040 plan aims to create a stronger regional economy for the Chicago area by way of more livable communities, improved government efficiency and better transportation options for residents. The HUD grant award will help communities put those plans in to action.

The grant award was announced just a day after Chicago’s Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) unveiled the plan with a celebration in Chicago’s Millennium Park. CMAP’s executive director Randy Blakenhorn said in a statement:

This HUD award literally could not have come at a better time. 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.  [Communities now] have crucial resources that would not have been available without this innovative new federal program.

GO TO 2040 is the product of three years of stakeholder-driven planning, including feedback from more than 35,000 Chicago-area residents. The plan will help Chicago’s counties and communities plan together for sustainable prosperity through mid-century and beyond, and the HUD award means CMAP can start implementing GO TO 2040 immediately.

While the responsibility for realizing the plan’s goals rests largely on the shoulders of the towns and counties of the Chicago region, CMAP will help communities implement the recommendations. Specifically, the program will address the interconnected issues of housing, land use and transportation, as well as energy conservation, environmental protection and green infrastructure, local food and food access, workforce development and public health.

The grant in Chicago is part of HUD’s larger effort to foster livable, wisely-planned communities across the country. HUD recently awarded $100 million worth of Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grants to applicants nationwide. The grants are specifically designed to support comprehensive regional planning efforts that connect housing with transportation, good jobs and schools with the overarching goals of building vibrant communities and economic competitiveness.

Chicagoland is ready to GO TO 2040, and the grant gives residents and organizations a fantastic chance to get moving. Learn more about the plan at: