Prospering in Place, a report prepared by The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), emphasizes investment in places with the best chance of success through linking jobs, development, and transit to spur Chicago’s economy. Chicago is the third largest urban area in the country, and operates the second most extensive public transport system. During 2002-2008 in Northern Illinois, the number of jobs paying less than $40,000 located within half a mile of transit declined by 16 percent.
Also, highly skilled “Knowledge Workers” have shown to have among the highest transit ridership rates for their commutes. However, the jobs near transit areas have declined by 19,469. This illustrates the growing divide between people, jobs and transit is on the increase, and has become a threat to the Chicago’s economy. Therefore, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) unanimously supported the GoTo 2040 plan- a comprehensive development plan which reduces unnecessary transports costs. The plan aims at compact development along the regions corridors, more easily assessing jobs, building wealth, and providing greater options for transit. However, GoTo 2040 focuses on economic development in terms of clusters and workforce but do not specify a region.
Prospering in Place analyzes GoTo 2040 and other economic development plans by making explicit how better spatial efficiency can promote economic growth. It also identifies specific communities, metro stations, the intermodal rail yards and industrial areas that can create greater value, strengthen the regional economy and produce a larger number of jobs. In addition, quantitative and qualitative analyses are used in Prospering in Places to identify the specific region that can enhance economic development, and it concludes with key recommendations.
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