Preventing urban sprawl, controlling carbon emissions, and protecting water supplies are among the top challenges facing Chicago regional planners, according to Lake County residents attending a June 29, 2016, workshop about the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) ON TO 2050 plan.
Approximately 50 members of the Clean Power Lake County Campaign, Livable Lake County, and other community groups participated in the recent workshop in Waukegan, Illinois. The workshop was organized by the League of Women Voters of Lake County.
The workshop touched on land use, water, open space, sustainability, community development, transportation, and other growth-oriented topics.
Here are some of the “2050 big ideas” that Waukegan workshop participants offered to address looming challenges:
- Recognize that environmental opportunities are economic opportunities—especially when overlaid with equity considerations.
- Adopt policies and regulations that foster sustainable transportation, clean energy, and recycling, to mitigate climate change.
- Promote creative ways to reduce carbon emissions, including improved transportation planning.
- Make mature cities more attractive and livable, with high-density cores, to limit urban sprawl.
- Encourage new types of in-fill development to limit sprawl and the need to invest in new infrastructure.
- Decommission the Route 53 corridor to preserve open space, clean air, and livability.
- Connect public transit to jobs, especially for people who work second and third shifts.
- Create corporate-sponsored van pools to job-heavy areas like business parks.
- Promote express busses.
- Coordinate brownfield solar redevelopment.
- Consolidate overlapping governmental units.
- Ensure that elected officials reflect the make-up of their communities
CMAP will continue to collect input about the ON TO 2050 draft snapshot through August 15, 2016.