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How to align comprehensive city plans with zoning ordinances to achieve development goals and manage future development.
Cities and regions have a many sources of intrinsic values. Some of these are quite tangible, such as the aggregated purchasing power of families and households, or the value of in-place infrastructure for utilities and municipal services. Others are intangible in nature but still quite real and valuable: a sense of community and place, as evidenced by organizations committed to that area’s future, or historic preservation, and quality of life, respectively. By recognizing and valuing both kinds of assets, new strategies can be crafted to capture these benefits and use the resultant resources for community renewal and reinvestment.
This study examines equity and smart mobility in ten U.S. counties and their central cities to understand the extent that smart mobility services and assets are equitably available, and impact accessibility, employability, livability, and mobility. For this study, “equitable smart mobility” is defined as transportation systems that incorporate technology while increasing access to mobility options, enhancing opportunity in low-income communities of color, and supporting a clean environment.
A guide to reduce flooding in Riverdale, IL in a way that strengthens neighborhoods and businesses, and brings new life to vacant areas of town. A RainReady Riverdale would be a community where all residents and businesses benefit from flood relief in a way that also brings neighborhood beautification, retail activity, jobs, recreation, and habitat conservation. In this community, public investment is transparent and fair.
Chicago’s Central Manufacturing District (CMD) was the first planned manufacturing district in the United States. A century ago, 252 firms operated in its huge six-story buildings. Tenants ranged from small manufacturers to big names like Wrigley, Ford, United (Rexall) Drug, Pullman, and Westinghouse Electric. With outstanding rail connections and a broad variety of shared services, the CMD became one of the largest industrial parks in the world. Today, the CMD is empty, but the site retains many advantages, including central location, rail connections, expressways access, and robust fiber optic capacity, that may make it a hub of sustainable manufacturing. Potentially the CMD can be redeveloped as a new industrial ecodistrict.
This report explores the prevalence and cost of flooding to property owners—such as homes and businesses—in urban and suburban areas. Urban flooding is caused by too much rain overwhelming drainage systems and waterways, and making its way into basements, backyards, and streets. The critical findings of this study include: (1) Urban flooding in Cook County, IL is chronic and systemic, resulting in damage that is widespread, repetitive and costly; (2) There are multiple social and economic impacts on residential property owners; (3) There is no correlation between damage payouts and the floodplains; (4) Insurance claims were made across income groups, but low income groups were overrepresented; (5) Flood insurance payouts represent a minority of insurance payouts; (6) There are few good solutions available for individual homeowners.
A guide to the Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard for municipalities interested in sustainability and struggling with existing infrastructure and stormwater management needs.
The scope and severity of flood risk and flood-related damages in the Chatham community are among the worst in Cook County. At the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), our water program promotes practical changes in the way people manage water as a resource and changes that are good for residents, good for businesses, and good for the environment. Through programs like our RainReadySM℠ Initiative, we help homeowners and municipalities save money by installing green infrastructure solutions like rain gardens and bioswales for stormwater management. Much of our work is done to prevent and alleviate flood issues which includes community outreach and development of the RainReady Midlothian Plan and six community plans in Suburban Cook County, Illinois.
For any state or agency looking to increase adoption of the M36 water audit methodology, there are several key takeaways from Georgia’s new auditing requirements: State agencies and their partners should place emphasis on the value and usefulness of M36 for utilities. Beyond instituting any auditing requirement, states should highlight the benefits of this practice in helping utilities improve business operations. Data validation is paramount. Water loss audits and future planning must be based on accurate and reliable audit results in order to effectively improve water systems. Encourage strong relationships between state and local governments. It is critical for states to have a strong commitment to providing training resources and support to utilities as they adopt the M36 auditing method. Encourage public reporting. Sharing audit results improves transparency, accountability and understanding between a utility and its customers. Enthusiastic training sessions. The auditing process can be dull. It is important to provide engaging trainings that emphasize the benefits of adopting the M36 method.
Reducing the negative impacts of storm water is gaining priority in United States communities’ efforts to develop more sustainably and to comply with Clean Water Act requirements. Nationwide, communities may need to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in coming decades to meet clean water goals, assuming expansion and repair of conventional infrastructure (US EPA 2002). These projections include $54.8 billion for combined sewer overflow (CSO) control, and another nine billion dollars for storm water management programs (US EPA 2008a). The Clean Water Act’s regulatory requirements, along with perennial budget struggles facing many municipalities, are driving cities and utilities to identify and choose the most cost-effective approaches to storm water management.