Master plan for Illinois International Port District earns honor from NARC

Five people pose for photo. Two are holding a glass trophy
Pictured left to right: Erik Varela, IIPD executive director; Ivan Solis, IIPD board chair; Dustin Calliari, CMAP senior planner; Sema Abulhab, CMAP engagement specialist; and Dr. P.S. Sriraj, IIPD board vice chairman

The master plan to create a thriving future for the Illinois International Port District (IIPD) — created through CMAP’s technical assistance program — is earning accolades.

The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) recognized the port district master plan at its Achievement and Leadership Awards in June. The honor notes the master plan is “the result of years of effort and collaboration.”

NARC awards are presented annually to recognize excellence in programs and services of regional councils, metropolitan planning organizations, and other regional organizations across the country.

The CMAP team includes Sema Abulhab, engagement specialist; Dustin Calliari, senior planner; Gilton Cross, planner; Tony Manno, planning principal; Jason Navota, director, regional policy and implementation; and Elizabeth Scott, principal, regional policy and implementation.

Three people pose for photo in a garden area
Pictured left to right: Dustin Calliari, senior planner; Gilton Cross, planner; and Elizabeth Scott, principal, regional policy and implementation

Dustin Calliari served as the plan’s project manager from mid 2020 through adoption in June 2022. He currently leads the plan’s implementation team. Sema Abulhab and Gilton Cross support implementation of plan strategies and recommendations via the plan’s implementation team, in close coordination with the IIPD executive director. Elizabeth Scott managed the program.

The port district is a facility on the southeast side of Chicago. Its 1,800 acres include active industry and multimodal shipping operations, and a public golf course. There are also undeveloped or underdeveloped areas that present a wealth of opportunities, from recreation to conservation to new businesses.

The vision for the port district’s future includes maintaining its status as a national freight and logistics hub, facilitating economic development, and enhancing quality of life and community benefits.