CMAP Ideas Exchange

Heather Smith's picture

Yesterday I had the pleasure of  attending the CMAP Local Technical Assistance Ideas Exchange.

 Bob Dean, CMAP Deputy Executive Director of Local Planning opened and talked about how CMAP has implemented their GO to 2040 Plan.

Then the 200 attendees from around the seven county region broke up into learning sessions around topics such as site redevelopment, Metropulse, or planning for shifting demographics.

 I attended a fascinating presentation on Right Right Sized Retail with Kutis Pozacy from Berwyn and representatives from the Bronzeville Alliance and the Metropolitan Planning Council.

 Kurtis Pozagy from the Berwyn Development Corporation discussed the Gateway project a new urbanist designed mall with parking in back.  He also mentioned how the development climate was ripe for Berwyn in the midst of the recession.  Developers are looking for smaller lots and community cooperation.  They developed a walkable center with tenants such as Buffalo Wild Wings, and Five Guys and a Vitamin shop that are exceeding sales records so far.

Then discussion of retail along several Bronzeville corridors was discussed.  Bronzeville is in need of retail and there are several corridors but the panelists talked about their focus area along 47th Street between the Dan Ryan and Drexel.  Key lessons include working with the 3rd and 4th ward SSA and aldermen and women at every meeting to ensure cooperation. Panelists also discussed the need to focus on specific corridors to create draws for pedestrians and fill in the missing teeth in the neighborhood.


The CMAP Ideas exchange is a great example of the  Sustainable Communities Initiative funding in action.  The event was a great way to show off the accomplishment in planning and share ideas about how to overcome challenges ahead.  Congratulations to CMAP for a very successful event.





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