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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.
Revive Oakland’s Good Jobs Policy is a case study demonstrating how publicly funded development projects can create widespread economic opportunity. Thanks to an innovative good jobs policy, the warehouse and logistics complex envisioned can pay over 3,000 workers a living wage and reserve half of the jobs for Oakland residents, transforming the old Army base into an economic engine for the city and its people. The policy will make it easier for the formerly incarcerated to find work and provides protections against exploitative temporary work arrangements so common to the sector. The good jobs policy limits the use of temporary hires, reserves jobs for disadvantaged workers, and bans employers pre-screening job applicants for criminal records. These policies can help provide a national model for community-driven economic development.
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.
Increasing walking and bicycling improves health and livability for community members. Cities and counties that go about making improvements to walking and bicycling in their communities must make sure that improvements are well-thought out, community supported, and effective. This guide can help decisionmakers follow a comprehensive streets policy while still advancing the interests of bicycling and walking, ensuring that residents are able to safely use streets regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. Recommendations include city-level ordinances and department policies, and the report includes successful case studies from cities around the US.
The Engineering Solutions Guide presents street design strategies to address traffic safety concerns commonly identified in school areas and along the routes to school. The guide includes evidence-based strategies that keep children safe by constructing streets, sidewalks, and paths that reduce or eliminate unsafe behaviors and conflicts between drivers and people walking or biking. Recommendations are organized into four categories: reducing vehicle speeds, pedestrian crossings, bicycle connectivity, and intersection safety.
Health impact assessments are a useful tool to help make the case for the many benefits of safe routes and park access. Decisionmakers often want data to help weigh costs and benefits of a change. This factsheet can help advocates engage stakeholders and gather data in support of park access and provides further resources for local decisionmakers interested in conducting an impact assessment in their community.
This report provides an introduction to metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) for those who want to influence regional planning to benefit health, active transportation, and equity. The report details the structure of MPOs, the relationship between MPOs and other agencies and organizations, and the roles that MPOs play, with a focus on how MPOs can support equitable communities. The report includes recommendations for stakeholders seeking to interact with MPOs and influence transportation reform in their community.
In California, communities with populations that are predominantly Latinx and low-income suffer the greatest burden of pollution and bad air quality, in addition to lacking infrastructure that makes streets safe for walking and biking. Yet for many residents, walking or taking transit are their only options for transportation. For advocates working to advance policies and programs that support healthy, active communities, it is crucial to connect active transportation issues with environmental justice. In Muscoy, CA, grassroots efforts focused on improving walking and bicycling conditions, safety, and reducing local air pollution.
This guide provides a framework to increase safe and equitable access to parks and green spaces. It focuses on access to parks via active transportation as well as ensuring a high-quality, safe experience within the park itself. The guide includes recommendations to help local decisionmakers identify goals and actionable steps, utilize data to drive the decision-making process, and find partners within their community.
No one should have to risk their life or spend hundreds of hours a year traveling simply to access healthy food. In too many neighborhoods and communities, local stores do not sell fresh produce or other healthy options, and transportation obstacles make getting to healthy foods dangerous, time-consuming, and expensive. This report reviews the problem of transportation access to healthy food, describes a vision for addressing it, and lays out a set of recommendations for policies and practices that can let people safely access healthy food by foot, bicycle, or transit.