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Burnham Goes to 2040: Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning Releases Preferred Regional Scenario

Fresh off the close of the centennial celebration for the 1909 Plan of Chicago, co-authored by Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) has released the final form of the Preferred Regional Scenario at its Burnham Goes to 2040 event held on January 21, 2010. The densely packed and richly illustrated, yet slim document was released at an open house held at the CMAP offices in the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower.


The invited audience was comprised of participants from past activities held during the year long 2009 Burnham Plan Centennial observation of the writing of the Plan along with members of other CMAP partner organizations..  The crowd of planners, nonprofit agency officials and interested citizens from across Chicagoland braved the rain and cold to be privileged to be the first individuals other than CMAP staff and associates to view the Preferred Regional Scenario. This document will also serve as a basis for future discussions and activities throughout the year. The culmination will be the release of the finished comprehensive regional plan in October 2010. A draft form of the comprehensive plan should be by spring 2010.

This ambitious undertaking will be the first attempt to coordinate the policy and planning of an area as large as the region in and around Chicago. The Preferred Regional Scenario was drawn from two years of CMAP research as well as the recommendations of participants across the seven-county (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will) region in and around Chicago who offered input at community meetings, seminars, and other gatherings during the Centennial celebration.

The preliminary recommendations included in the Preferred Regional Scenario include:
• Creating more livable, compact communities with mixed-use development.
• Investing in education and workforce development while encouraging job growth.
• Improving the region's open space and parklands, while reducing energy and water consumption
• Targeting the interconnected issues of transportation, economic growth, environmental protection and infrastructure improvements.
• Tracking the performance of the region's planning efforts and assessing areas which need attention and improvement.

Throughout the coming year, CMAP intends to further engage participants of the Centennial celebration programs as well as the general public  into the larger Go to 2040 planning process. More information is available at www.cmap.illinois.gov and www.goto2040.org or by calling CMAP at 312/454-0400 during business hours.

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