Project: Chicago Metropolis Plan for Growth and Transportation

Client: Chicago Metropolis 2020, Inc.

About the Project: The Commercial Club of Chicago, a prominent business and civic organization in the Chicago Area, began a planning and visioning process several years ago to address a broad set of issues including sprawl, land consumption, economic opportunity, traffic congestion and urban decay. The group has taken on the task of updating the famous Plan of Chicago, by Daniel Burnham, which was also a project of the Commercial Club 100 years ago. Hundreds of participants at workshops defined their preferences for growth and development for the Chicago region, which were compiled into alternative future scenarios, and compared to the “business as usual” through a variety of indicators.

SMI’s Role: SMI was asked to join the team to provide advanced, “outside-the-box” modeling and planning. SMI has developed a smart transportation strategy for the region, to include a network of boulevards, parkways and Bus Rapid Transit service, to complement the smart growth land use scenario developed by Fregonese-Calthorpe Associates. These strategies are being analyzed with a state-of-the-art Metropolis Transportation Model, which is sensitive to the pedestrian environment, land use mix and development density. These strategies are now being compared to a business-as-usual scenario using a set of performance measures of land use, accessibility, the environment, and social equity. SMI has refined the region’s transportation network model to allow better differentiation and evaluation of the future scenarios in terms of more meaningful performance measures.

Current Status: The Metropolis Plan: Choices for the Chicago Region was released in March 2003. SMI continues to assist Chicago Metropolis 2020 in further planning, including developing a regional freight plan, as well as implementation.

Frank Beal, Executive Director
Chicago Metropolis 2020

John Fregonese, Principal
Fregonese-Calthorpe Associates

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