The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that has been dedicated to shaping a more sustainable and prosperous greater Chicago region since 1934. MPC serves communities and residents by developing, promoting, and implementing solutions for sound regional growth, understanding that all of Chicago’s regional assets need to work together effectively in order to unlock the metropolitan area’s potential.
MPC works with various planning agencies in Chicago, northeastern Illinois, northwestern Indiana, and southeastern Wisconsin. While MPC focuses on economic development, vibrant neighborhoods, quality housing and transportation choices, and well-managed natural assets, the firm stresses long-term thinking in order to prepare the region(s) for the needs of tomorrow and is somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades firm; projects often undertaken: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plans, placemaking grants, water supply management, and transit-oriented development (TOD).
This site visit will include a tour of the office, which is located in the heart of the Loop, and a discussion on how MPC bridges gaps between government, communities, and business leaders in order to create strong partnerships needed for problem-solving. MPC puts on ‘MPC Roundtables’ and ‘Urban Think and Drink’ events to provide forums for discussion on the most difficult of planning issues. While a nonprofit, the Metropolitan Planning Council is held in high-regard around the City of Chicago and their sleek office will provide a unique look into a different type of nonprofit work.
Bus Rapid Transit: Chicago’s new route to opportunity
“Chicago’s rapid transit network was built with the assumption that most travelers needed to go downtown, leading to our hub-and-spoke system of rail lines that converge on the Loop. Cross-town trips—those that do not need to pass through downtown—require slow bus trips.”
Creating usable public spaces…
TOD projects that increase connectivity within the Chicago metropolitan region…
“Just 21 percent of the region’s jobs and 8 percent of its population are located within a quarter-mile of rapid transit.”