Taking local action for an inclusive and thriving region

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) technical assistance program supports communities through planning and implementation assistance. This work aligns with implementing the comprehensive plan for the region, ON TO 2050.

Since the program’s creation, CMAP has supported more than 300 projects, helping to build local capacity, engage communities, make critical decisions, and connect local partners to funding and resources. CMAP hosts a call for projects each year jointly with the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). In 2024, 30 projects were awarded technical assistance support.

View current and completed projects on the technical assistance projects map.

Types of assistance

CMAP partners with the RTA’s community planning program in a joint call for projects. Each agency offers different types of assistance, which change each year:

ADA self-evaluation and transition plans

CMAP works with local governments to develop a plan that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). CMAP can help communities identify improvements that make sidewalks, crosswalks, curb ramps, and landings easier to navigate.

Bicycle and pedestrian plans

CMAP provides support for route planning and infrastructure, intersections, transit stations and transfer points, signage and signalization, streetscapes and furnishings, and ADA accessibility.

Capital improvement plans

CMAP supports local governments to evaluate existing capital planning processes and provide recommendations that help develop a transparent, strategic, impactful, and successful capital improvement plan.

Corridor plans

CMAP works with local governments to develop plans that address transportation and other improvements in a neighborhood, business district, corridor, riverfront, or other focus area.

Grant readiness

CMAP helps local governments prepare for grant opportunities, establish consensus on priority transportation projects, identify next steps for implementation, and receive resources to seek out and manage grant funding.

NEXT Program (plan implementation assistance)

CMAP offers plan implementation assistance for a past CMAP or RTA plan through the NEXT Program. CMAP works with communities to prioritize improvements, develop an action plan, and help execute the plan.

Pavement management plans

CMAP selects and supports an engineering firm that creates a document to emphasize the importance of pavement preservation, describe the current condition of pavement, evaluate cost, and use the information to develop a capital plan.

Transportation safety plans

CMAP works with local governments to analyze safety-related issues for pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and all other modes within communities or specific areas like corridors and intersections.

Watershed-based planning

CMAP provides support for a watershed-based plan for water quality protection and remediation, which include recommendations and strategies to help restore the beneficial uses of impaired waters or protect and maintain the quality of unimpaired or threatened waters.

Hear from past technical assistance partners

Who can apply?

CMAP offers technical assistance to local governments in the seven-county region, Chicago community areas, and non-governmental organizations that partner with communities.

Applying for technical assistance

The 2024 call for technical assistance projects ran from Monday, February 26 through Friday, March 22. Subscribe to the planning newsletter to learn when the next call opens in 2025.

Have a question about technical assistance or an idea for a future project? CMAP staff are available to discuss them year-round. Contact us at applications@cmap.illinois.gov.