WBEZ | Metropolitan Planning Council Conference Center http://www.wbez.org/content/metropolitan-planning-council-conference-center Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en MPC Roundtable—Tough Stuff: Resilient Infrastructure in a Changing World http://www.wbez.org/mpc-roundtable%E2%80%94tough-stuff-resilient-infrastructure-changing-world-106992 <p><p>Shifting climate patterns around the world have led to unpredictable and severe weather events, exemplified by record-breaking temperatures and havoc-wreaking storms, such as Superstorm Sandy. The greater Chicago region has experienced its share of variable weather, including drought condi&shy;tions for most of 2012, drastically reduced water levels in Lake Michigan and, most recently, a winter with unmatched high temperatures and no snow for a record-setting 335 days.</p><div>Climate uncertainty not only affects our day-to-day activities, but also our region&rsquo;s underpinnings &ndash; the physical and social infrastructure we rely upon to provide us with electricity, clean water, security, and transportation. At this roundtable, MPC will jump start an overdue regional discussion about how companies, communities and public agencies are working together to create, monitor and continually adapt systems to anticipate and respond to our changing world.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Panelists:</div><div><strong>J. Tyler Anthony</strong>, Senior Vice President of Distribution Operations, ComEd <strong>Stephen Konya</strong>, Chief of Staff, Ill. Dept. of Public Health <strong>Sybil Derrible</strong>, Assistant Professor, Civil and Materials Engineering, University of Illinois&mdash;Chicago</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Registration is $30, or $15 for current MPC donors. Lunch is included; you may request vegetarian, vegan or gluten free when you register.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This event is sponsored by ComEd.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>More information about this event <a href="http://metroplanning.org/news-events/event/221">here</a>.&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 03 May 2013 14:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/mpc-roundtable%E2%80%94tough-stuff-resilient-infrastructure-changing-world-106992 MPC Roundtable—Immeasurable Loss: Modernizing Lake Michigan Water Use http://www.wbez.org/mpc-roundtable%E2%80%94immeasurable-loss-modernizing-lake-michigan-water-use-106991 <p><p>During every moment of every day, northeastern Illinois is losing Lake Michigan water &ndash; and with it, the money rate payers contributed to pumping, treating and distributing this water. Yet while we know our region is losing vast sums of Lake Michigan water, and we know this inefficiency is costing us money, we do not have a clear picture of how much water or how much money we are wasting. The best available data suggest the problem is enormous &ndash; approximately 490 million gallons a week, enough water to fill more than one Willis Tower. However, the way Illinois grants Lake Michigan water permits does not capture data that identify the causes of loss and solutions to prevent it. That&rsquo;s just one reason why the Ill. Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR) has proposed changing the permit process.</p><div>At this roundtable, MPC will release our paper Immeasurable Loss: Modernizing Lake Michigan Water Use, which supports IDNR&rsquo;s proposals and makes further recommendations for more efficient water use. The paper and the event will provide up-to-date information on IDNR&rsquo;s proposals and an opportunity for frank discussion.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Panelists:</div><div><strong>Dan Injerd</strong>, Chief, Lake Michigan Management Section, Ill. Dept. of Natural Resources <strong>Michael Smyth, Sr</strong>. Manager of Field Services and Production, Illinois American Water <strong>Mike Ramsay</strong>, Public Works Supervisor, Village of Westmont <strong>Josh Ellis</strong>, Program Director, Metropolitan Planning Council</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Registration is $30, or $15 for current MPC donors. Lunch is included; you may request vegetarian, vegan or gluten free when you register.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This event is sponsored by Illinois American Water.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>More information about this event <a href="http://metroplanning.org/news-events/event/219">here.&nbsp;</a></div></p> Fri, 03 May 2013 13:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/mpc-roundtable%E2%80%94immeasurable-loss-modernizing-lake-michigan-water-use-106991 MPC Roundtable – Bus Rapid Transit on a Roll in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/mpc-roundtable-%E2%80%93-bus-rapid-transit-roll-chicago-105706 <p><p>Offering similar benefits to rail, but at a fraction of the cost, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will make the most of Chicago&#39;s existing street infrastructure to better connect people to neighborhoods and destinations across the city.</p><div>This new form of public transportation not only will increase access to jobs, retail and institutions, including schools and hospitals, but also will run more efficiently than a regular bus, saving riders time and money.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The City of Chicago has big BRT plans, most significantly the development of a system plan to scope out future priority BRT routes. Already, individual routes are in the works: momentum continues to build for the Central Loop BRT route along Madison and Washington, as the City prepares to release the design, and soon the City will announce the locally preferred alternative for the Western and Ashland corridors. Meanwhile, the Chicago Dept. of Housing and Economic Development will begin a land use study for both corridors, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation is gearing up to kick off a station design competition in March to help influence new BRT stations.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Planning for BRT in Chicago has induced unprecedented partnerships between multiple City agencies and nonprofit organizations. At this roundtable, Gabe Klein, commissioner of the Chicago Dept. of Transportation; <strong>Nick Turner</strong>, managing director of the Rockefeller Foundation; <strong>Rebekah Scheinfeld</strong>, chief planning officer, Chicago Transit Authority; and <strong>Warren Ribley</strong>, executive director of the Illinois Medical District, will discuss exciting developments for this new form of transportation in Chicago.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>More information about this event <a href="http://metroplanning.org/news-events/event/216">here.</a></div></p> Fri, 22 Feb 2013 16:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/mpc-roundtable-%E2%80%93-bus-rapid-transit-roll-chicago-105706 MPC Roundtable—Two Anchor Institutions, One Story of Revitalization through Housing Investment http://www.wbez.org/mpc-roundtable%E2%80%94two-anchor-institutions-one-story-revitalization-through-housing-investment-105287 <p><p>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.</p><div>&nbsp;</div><div>At this MPC Roundtable, University of Chicago&#39;s <strong>Derek Douglas</strong>, vice president, civic engagement; and OTTO Engineering President <strong>Tom Roeser </strong>will compare and contrast how their unique housing reinvestment strategies support the local economy. UofC has offered an employer-assisted housing program for nearly 10 years, providing housing counseling and downpayment assistance to employees who chose to move near campus. Through OTTO Homes, OTTO Engineering buys, rehabs and sells homes in Carpentersville, giving preference and incentives to local employees who want to become homeowners.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>More information <a href="http://metroplanning.org/news-events/event/208">here.</a></div></p> Fri, 01 Feb 2013 12:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/mpc-roundtable%E2%80%94two-anchor-institutions-one-story-revitalization-through-housing-investment-105287 MPC Roundtable - The Future of Interjurisdictional Collaboration, a New Model for Housing and Community Development http://www.wbez.org/mpc-roundtable-future-interjurisdictional-collaboration-new-model-housing-and-community-development <p><p>In metropolitan Chicago, since 2009, three clusters of suburbs have been pioneering a groundbreaking, collaborative approach to planning, housing, and economic development, known as interjurisdictional collaboration. These communities have worked together to advance jointly agreed upon reinvestment strategies, building local capacity while attracting more than $35 million in public and private sector investment. Their work has demonstrated the promise of this burgeoning model as an efficient, cost-effective, and effective approach to development.</p><div>At this roundtable, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and Metropolitan Planning Council will release a new paper that identifies policy reforms and best practices needed to support the success of these pioneers, and to make it easier for this model to be replicated. The paper responds to questions posed by a report on these three clusters, issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in November 2011, and makes recommendations for a range of partners.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>At the event, <strong>Robin Snyderman</strong>, non-resident senior fellow, Brookings, and principal, BRicK Partners, LLC, will moderate a panel discussion among local community leaders and national experts in community development, about the paper&rsquo;s recommendations and the future of interjurisdictional collaboration for housing and community development.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Panelists will include:&nbsp;<strong>David Bennett</strong>, executive director, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus;&nbsp;<strong>Herman Brewer</strong>, bureau chief, Cook County Bureau of Economic Development;&nbsp;<strong>Elizabeth Kneebone</strong>, fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution;&nbsp;<strong>Matthew R. Reilein</strong>, senior vice president, New Markets Tax Credit Group, JPMorgan Chase, and a member of MPC&rsquo;s Board of Governors.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>More information <a href="http://metroplanning.org/news-events/event/202">here.&nbsp;</a></div></p> Wed, 28 Nov 2012 11:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/mpc-roundtable-future-interjurisdictional-collaboration-new-model-housing-and-community-development Plugging in to Placemaking: Technology’s Role in Community Planning http://www.wbez.org/plugging-placemaking-technology%E2%80%99s-role-community-planning-102750 <p><p>Imagine a busy Dad who spends his days at the office and his evenings shuttling kids to practices and play dates. Or a businesswoman whose work frequently takes her out of town. Consider the night student, the small business owner, the shift worker: These are just a few of people who have something to contribute to local community decisions, but rarely have the time to attend traditional public meetings.&nbsp;</p><div>Increasingly, technology is helping to engage new community voices in local planning. Through laptops, tablets, and mobile phones, Americans are &ldquo;plugged in,&rdquo; even while on the go. An April 2012 Pew Internet study reports that 88 percent of American adults have a cell phone, laptop, or tablet computer&mdash;and 63 percent go online wirelessly using one of those devices. A 2012 Nielsen report shows 49.7 percent of Americans have smart phones, and industry studies show smart phone penetration is highest among Latinos.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>While technology cannot take the place of traditional community outreach strategies such as direct mail and public meetings, planners are beginning to explore how online tools can bring new people into the conversation. Whether it&rsquo;s a Twitter stream that provides updates to transit riders in Orange County, CA, or a mobile app that helped Atlanta residents discover transportation improvements that would benefit them if they supported a penny sales tax proposal, technology is a new tool in the toolbox for urban planners, developers, and community leaders.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Join the Metropolitan Planning Council &nbsp;for a roundtable discussion on how technology can deepen both the engagement and impact people have in planning the future of their communities. The event will feature:&nbsp;<strong>Tom Coleman</strong>, AICP, LEED AP, Parsons Brinckerhoff;<strong>&nbsp;Ben Fried</strong>, editor-in-chief, Streetsblog;&nbsp;<strong>Frank Hebbert</strong>, director of civic works, Open Plans; and&nbsp;<strong>Ted Nguyen</strong>, manager of public communications, Orange County Transportation Authority, CA.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This event is generously sponsored by Parsons Brinckerhoff.</div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 28 Sep 2012 13:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/plugging-placemaking-technology%E2%80%99s-role-community-planning-102750 Rain Check: Regional Solutions to Stormwater Management http://www.wbez.org/rain-check-regional-solutions-stormwater-management-101648 <p><p>This summer&#39;s drought is no fluke. The Chicago region&#39;s precipitation patterns are trending toward longer periods without rain punctuated by sudden bursts of rapid, intense rainfall that overload local and regional sewer systems, causing basement back-ups and untreated discharges to waterways. Solutions exist, but they are costly and require coordination between multiple units of government and private property owners.</p><div>Fortunately, the Chicago region doesn&#39;t face these challenges alone. Other midwestern metropolitan areas with comparable climate, infrastructure, and water management governance structures are grappling with the same issues: How do we priortize investment in gray vs. green infrastructure? How do we motivate private property owners to deal with the rain falling on their land? What are the best roles for federal and state agencies to support regional and local solutions? How do we develop interjurisidictional solutions that match the sewershed scale of the problem?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This MPC and Openlands roundtable will feature the leaders of neighboring Midwestern metropolitan stormwater management systems who will explore what can be learned from each other about collaboration, investment criteria, and overcoming barriers.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Speakers include:&nbsp;David St. Pierre, Executive Director, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago;&nbsp;<strong>Kevin Shafer</strong>, Executive Director, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District;&nbsp;<strong>Kellie Rotunno</strong>, Director of Engineering and Construction, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Cleveland region; and&nbsp;<strong>Leisa Thompson</strong>, General Manager, Metropolitan Council Environmental Services, Minneapolis&ndash;St. Paul region (invited).</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><a href="http://www.metroplanning.org/news-events/event/181">Register online today!</a> The cost of the roundtable, which includes lunch, is $15 for current MPC donors or Openlands members and $30 for all others. Seating is limited, so pre-registration is required.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Thanks to ComEd for sponsoring this event. If you or your firm are interested in co-sponsoring this event, or any others in our series, please contact Josh Ellis.</div></p> Fri, 10 Aug 2012 16:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/rain-check-regional-solutions-stormwater-management-101648 Getting our Money's Worth: Using Value Capture to Fund Transit http://www.wbez.org/getting-our-moneys-worth-using-value-capture-fund-transit-101644 <p><p>Even as the economy struggles, our growing regional population is demanding smarter investments to expand and improve transit. Given the scarcity of available public funds, governments are beginning to tap innovative financing tools such as variable parking pricing, public&ndash;private partnerships, and value capture around bus and rail stations. Because transportation networks and land values are closely linked, public investments in transportation infrastructure can increase the value of land surrounding these investments, benefiting landowners, developers and governments. This roundtable will explore how value capture and other innovative financing tools can generate revenue to finance transportation operations and future expansion, such as Bus Rapid Transit and upgrades to Chicago Union Station. Through careful planning, innovative financing can make the most of limited dollars and lay the groundwork for long-term sustainable growth in metropolitan Chicago.</p><div><strong>Ryan Gravel</strong>, senior urban designer for Perkins + Will, will share how Atlanta is tapping $1.7 billion in tax increment financing to construct the Atlanta BeltLine, one of the most comprehensive urban redevelopment efforts underway in the U.S. The BeltLine includes a 22-mile loop of rail transit along former freight rail lines, through 45 neighborhoods surrounding Atlanta&rsquo;s urban core, with anticipated daily ridership of 73,000 people.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>J. Douglas Koelemay</strong>, vice president of community relations for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), will discuss why business owners in Tysons Corner, Virginia, created a special tax assessment on commercial and industrial property owners that will generate $400 million to fund an extension of the existing Washington, D.C. Metrorail system to Dulles Airport.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Gabriel Metcalf</strong>, executive director of San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) and member of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors, will describe how San Francisco is layering several financing tools, including tax increment financing, a special assessment, development impact fees, and a federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan, to build the new Transbay Transit Center. The new station will coordinate the Bay Area&rsquo;s numerous transit systems, increase capacity and accessibility, and create one of the most transportation-rich-neighborhoods in the region. Gabriel will also discuss other innovative financing for transit used in San Francisco including sharing parking meter revenues and the Transit Impact Development Fee.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><a href="http://www.metroplanning.org/news-events/event/186">Register online today</a>! The cost of the roundtable, which includes lunch, is $15 for current MPC donors and $30 for all others. Seating is limited, so pre-registration is required.</div></p> Fri, 10 Aug 2012 16:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/getting-our-moneys-worth-using-value-capture-fund-transit-101644 Place Stations: Creating Fun and Functional Transit Centers http://www.wbez.org/event/2012-03-14/place-stations-creating-fun-and-functional-transit-centers <p><p>With highways and arterial roads plagued by congestion and the price of gas making airline travel more cost-prohibitive, trains—an efficient, economical means of travel—are once again a hot topic. Likewise, cities and planners are re-examining the potential of major train stations as destinations and economic development hubs, not just spaces people rush through to catch said train. Major rail stations, from Washington, D.C. to Berlin, have been transformed from solely spaces of transaction to places—with indoor and outdoor plazas, restaurants and retail opportunities, and year-round programming.<br> <br> "Place Stations" will focus on the role of placemaking in the planning and design of Union Stations across the country, with particular focus on Denver and Washington, D.C.’s stations as vibrant and valuable public places. As the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) studies the redesign and expansion of Chicago Union Station, we will discuss how to maximize the impact of dollars spent on increasing operating capacity, as well as enhance the station’s stature as a civic asset and a catalyst for economic growth in the city and throughout the region.<br> <br> Transportation expert and former Amtrak chairman and CEO <strong>Tom Downs</strong> will keynote this session, offering his reflections on transit stations as economic drivers and social hubs. <strong>Frank Cannon</strong>, development director with Continuum Partners, LLC, will describe the innovative public spaces, retail opportunities, and creative financing that define Denver’s new Union Station. <strong>Luann Hamilton</strong>, deputy director of CDOT, will share Chicago’s vision for its own Union Station.<br> <br> Lunch will be provided. You may request a vegetarian meal when you register. Cost is $15 for current MPC donors, and $30 for all others. Space is limited, so register now at <a href="https://www.metroplanning.org/news-events/event/register.html?EventId=150">metroplanning.org/place-stations</a>.</p></p> Fri, 24 Feb 2012 16:28:51 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/event/2012-03-14/place-stations-creating-fun-and-functional-transit-centers Improving Health Through Planning http://www.wbez.org/event/2011-12-07/improving-health-through-planning <p><p>Planners often make assumptions about the health impacts of various planning approaches: “People will walk more if we provide public transit.” “Housing vacancies negatively impact the safety and well being of residents and the neighborhood.” Sound familiar? Across the country, health professionals and planners are teaming up to more closely examine the health effects of planning-related interventions by using Health Impact Assessments (HIAs). While well tested in the public health field, HIAs are an emerging tool for planners interested in supporting plans and activities that yield positive health impacts.<br> <br> "Improving Health Through Planning" will explore both the evaluative HIA approach and how to incorporate health impacts into early planning decisions. The unique format of this event will allow participants to attend a roundtable discussion from 8:30 to 10 a.m. and, if interested, a training from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The training will provide very basic information about how to apply the HIA methodology to planning-related projects.<br> <br> During the roundtable, panelists will discuss the role of health outcomes in early planning decisions, as well as some of assumptions planners make about these outcomes. They will present examples of HIAs already in use around the nation and in Chicago, and will examine their potential for future projects.<br> <br> <strong>Clarita Santos</strong>, director of community health initiatives for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, will moderate the roundtable and introduce the panelists: <strong>Dr. Rhajiv Bhatia</strong>, director of occupational and environmental health, San Francisco Department of Public Health and assistant clinical professor of medicine, University of California San Francisco; <strong>Kim Gilhuly</strong>, project director at Human Impact Partners, a nonprofit organization that conducts HIAs and trains other groups to conduct them; <strong>Dr. Lynn Todman</strong>, executive director of the Institute on Social Exclusion at the Adler School of Professional Psychology.<br> <br> Breakfast will be served at the roundtable, and lunch will be served during the training. You may request a vegetarian meal when you register. Whether you are attending only the roundtable or staying for the training, the cost is $15 for current MPC donors, and $30 for all others.<br> <br> This event is presented in partnership with the Institute on Social Exclusion at the Adler School of Professional Psychology and the Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities (CEED) @ Chicago.<br> <br> MPC thanks Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois for supporting this event.</p></p> Sun, 13 Nov 2011 17:53:09 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/event/2011-12-07/improving-health-through-planning