University of Wisconsin–Madison

Quality of Life, Equality of Place

Type Policy Brief or Report
Year 2014
Level City or Town
State(s) Illinois
Policy Areas Community Development, Housing, Public Spaces, Transportation & Mobility
Transit defines the vibrancy of downtowns in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Metra and CTA stations, and the development they support, help commuters get to jobs and run errands on their way home, all with little or no driving. Residents come together in these downtown station areas to eat, drink, socialize, borrow library books, shop, and see their neighbors. These activity centers are the brand, lifeblood, and drivers of economic development in these communities. Rail transit anchors downtowns and neighborhoods in many communities throughout Chicago’s northern suburbs and across the region. Municipalities have used these transit-oriented developments, (TODs), to create a sense of place, add retail and housing, and enhance their tax bases. In doing so, TOD helps reduce driving, increase access to transit, and improve the local economy.

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