CMAP helps communities build capacity, achieve regional goals with newly approved planning projects

More than 20 communities throughout northeastern Illinois will receive new planning assistance from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to help them prosper in the years ahead.

CMAP approved 21 new technical assistance program projects following a joint call for projects earlier in the fall with the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). CMAP staff will work to strengthen resiliency, prioritize investment and support inclusive development — regional principles identified in ON TO 2050, the region’s long-range plan.

“The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has a long history of preparing communities for better futures,” CMAP Executive Director Erin Aleman said. “These projects foster collaboration and drive innovation throughout the region, from McHenry to Will counties. We look forward to building a stronger region where all communities can thrive.”

Selected projects include comprehensive planning with Harvey officials to leverage the city’s transportation network for a more prosperous future. CMAP will help develop recommendations to diversify housing options, reduce neighborhood flooding and strengthen residents’ access to opportunity and key destinations in southern Cook County.

Other newly approved projects will help develop plans to make roads safer for all users in Cicero, improve access for pedestrians and bicyclists in Round Lake Beach and Glendale Heights, and strengthen local capacity to pursue greater infrastructure investments in Dolton and Dixmoor.

CMAP staff also will work with officials in Burlington, Ford Heights, Lynwood and University Heights on taking next steps to implement ideas that can improve quality of life, transportation and land-use decisions.

The call for projects between CMAP and the RTA this past October generated 70 total applications from 50 different communities and organizations. Although CMAP and RTA have separate technical assistance programs, the coordinated call allows both agencies to reach a larger pool of applicants and provide communities with additional staffing resources and capacity to achieve their goals.

The communities receiving planning assistance from CMAP include:

  • Berkley
  • Braidwood
  • Burlington
  • Cicero
  • Dixmoor
  • Dolton
  • Ford Heights
  • Glendale Heights
  • Harvard
  • Harvey
  • Itasca
  • Johnsburg
  • Lynwood
  • Manhattan
  • Minooka
  • Plainfield
  • Orland Township
  • Richmond
  • River Grove
  • Round Lake Beach
  • University Park

CMAP’s technical assistance program aligns with the ON TO 2050 principles of regional resilience, inclusive growth and prioritized investment. Since 2012, the program has assisted communities — often with limited capacity and resources — in developing more than 200 planning projects.