John Allen, Rick Lopez, and Cynthia Hernandez, CMAP
CMAP is a planning organization that offers various project types including water plans, transportation plans, greenway plans, but most significantly the regional GO TO 2040 plan. GO TO 2040 is a significant undertaking; the last time a regional plan had been undertaken was the 1909 Burnham Chicago Plan. Current factors that affect this undertaking include the recession as a chance to step back and reassess current conditions and planning issues within the 7 county region. GO TO 2040 predicts that regional population will increase by 2 million people over the next thirty years. By looking to the future of the region at a time when people need to conserve resources, they felt a comprehensive solution had been found.
They stressed the importance of getting community support to develop alternative plans before deciding which path to follow. The over arching themes of the plan include livable communities, human capital, efficient governance, and regional mobility. GO TO 2040 has also helped create a forum by which local municipalities can work on their own planning efforts, and through which they can gain access to specializations they may not have readily available in their own communities. Most of these efforts are focused on providing resources and training. However, CMAP has also been working to provide and recommend policy work with local governments. Collaboration is a key aspect that each presenter touted as a primary way to move ideas forward and get people involved. By having aligned goals, more tasks and goals can be accomplished. CMAP views this coordinated investment as a more efficient model for implementation.
One major leap forward in regards to transparency and access is through the development of metropulsechicago.org. As demonstrated in the presentation, having a centralized data source allows organizations and individuals access to information that can help influence decision-making. Lastly, a big push for strategic investment is seen as the best way to follow through with projects. By this they mean looking at ultimate goals, cost benefit ratios, and what the public wants to determine the biggest impact they can achieve for the money they are investing, obviously an issue of importance with the current economic situation. A final point to mention is that CMAP actually has no authoritative powers but instead are an organization working for diplomacy and streamlining of resources.