Residents invited to help plan city's future

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning is tapping Chicago residents to help craft a plan for the city's future growth.

The agency's Go to 2040 campaign includes kiosks throughout Chicago that will collect input from residents. Officials will also hear from the public at a series of workshops and through a new website.

“We’re extremely interested in how the public feels about significant policy and investment choices that will shape the future of the region,” says agency spokesman Tom Garritano.

The website and kiosks ask residents to answer a series of questions about growth throughout the region, including what type of transportation investments they'd like to see.

The website and kiosks allow citizens to construct their own scenarios for the future and compare them with other online suggestions.

Kiosk software analyzes how participants’ answers could impact the future.

“It’s great that people can see how these planning decisions affect their everyday lives,” says Garritano.

Garritano says the interactive tools are more effective than asking residents for simple suggestions,

“It’s a little more structured so it makes it easier to compare different inputs.”

The agency's final plan, expected next year, will include the public feedback.

Traffic congestion and housing options were among the most commonly cited priorities from the general public during a recent workshop held in Oak Park, says Garritano.  The kiosks are now running and will be available for use throughout the summer.


DEBORAH TAYLOR, 06-10-2009

The City will take the residents input, institute the changes they feel necessary, and report that the residents help put this plan together. This is what they did in the plan for transformation. Those residents have not benefited from being asked what they thought about the changes.

The changes were made regardless of the opposing input from the residents. They are looking for a place to live right now. Fix that problem.