Illinois

Aerial view of Chicago with river in foreground.

‘Cut the Tape’ Report Takes Aim at Inefficiencies

A set of recommendations from the Chicago mayor’s office calls for streamlining city processes to stimulate more residential and commercial development.

April 12, 2024 - Block Club Chicago

Blue Metra train bike car.

Chicago Trains Make More Room for Bikes

Since Metro launched a new bike-friendly policy in February, the number of bikes on its trains rose by 70 percent.

April 11, 2024 - Streetsblog Chicago

A view straight down LaSalle Street, lined by high-rise buildings with an El line running horizontally over the street.

Chicago to Turn High-Rise Offices into Housing

Four commercial buildings in the Chicago Loop have been approved for redevelopment into housing in a bid to revitalize the city’s downtown post-pandemic.

April 10, 2024 - Chicago Construction News

View of Chicago street with vacant lot and brick building, snow on the ground, at night.

Report: One-Third of Vacant Lots in Chicago Near Transit

Vacant lots pose challenges for the city’s goals of promoting transit-oriented development.

April 2, 2024 - Chicago Tribune

Google street view of wide bridge over Chicago River with small brick towers at corners.

RTA Calls for Bus Lanes on Chicago Bridge Project

The regional authority is asking the city to add dedicated bus lanes to a bridge over the Chicago River that serves a high number of bus commuters.

March 20, 2024 - Streetsblog Chicago

View of down La Salle Street lined with skyscrapers in downtown Chicago.

Downtown Chicago Vacancy Rates at All-Time High, Slashing Building Values

Record vacancy rates and the high cost of borrowing money are fueling a commercial real estate crisis in downtown Chicago.

March 5, 2024 - Bloomberg CityLab

Close-up of line of cars at electric vehicle charging station

Chicago Readies Region for EV Charging

Chicago-area municipalities can take advantage of a new grant program to prepare their infrastructure for electric vehicles.

February 14, 2024 - Energy News Network

Chicago Metra heavy rail commuter train on track with trees in background.

Chicago Rail Will Allow Bikes on All Trains

Metra will make its Covid-era bike policy permanent and install bike racks to accommodate more bikes on train cars.

January 31, 2024 - Streetsblog Chicago

Rat shaped indentation on pavement, filled with coins

Chicago Rat Hole Becomes Viral Urban Sensation

The rodent-shaped sidewalk imprint has captured hearts and imaginations on social media but has proven a headache for neighbors.

January 30, 2024 - Hyperallergic

Wood-framed four-story building under construction.

What Drives the High Cost of Affordable Housing

A combination of ineffective funding mechanisms, strict building regulations, and inflation are pushing per-unit construction costs higher.

January 23, 2024 - Crain's Chicago Business

Train on elevated track on snowy city landscape with Chicago skyline in background.

Chicago Train Track Heaters Put on Fiery Show

Metra workers are lighting up heaters designed to prevent train equipment from malfunctioning, making the tracks look ablaze with fire.

January 17, 2024 - NBC Chicago

Sign for Great Western Trail near Chicago, Illinois.

Advocates Champion the Great Western Trail

A Chicago walking and biking trail along a former railroad right-of-way has been a labor of love for local residents.

January 14, 2024 - Active Transportation Alliance

Rendering of Park Station mixed-use development in Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.

Commentary: A Vision for Responsible Neighborhood Revitalization

The first project under Chicago’s Woodlawn Housing Preservation Ordinance is taking shape, aiming to bring new housing and retail to the neighborhood while avoiding displacement.

December 20, 2023 - Richard Whitney

White modular home being installed on a lot.

Modular Homes Make Housing More Affordable in Chicago

Cheaper and faster to construct, modular homes provide an affordable alternative to traditional new construction for low- and moderate-income residents on Chicago’s South Side.

December 8, 2023 - WTTW

White, blue, and red Chicago transit bus at an urban bus station with shelter.

Chicago Announces ‘Better Streets for Buses’ Plan

The plan establishes a ‘toolkit’ of improvements to make the bus riding experience more reliable, comfortable, and accessible.

December 3, 2023 - City of Chicago

Close-up of 'Red Line Subway Entry' sign with Braille below and train logo above text in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago Red Line Extension Could Transform the South Side

The city’s transit agency is undertaking its biggest expansion ever to finally bring rail to the South Side.

November 24, 2023 - The Architect's Newspaper

View of Chicago Old Town neighborhood with low-rise brick buildings in foreground and tall residential high-rises in background.

Chicago Looks to Boulder Landlord Registry as a Model for Tenant Protections

Unlike the Colorado city, where code violations in rental housing are quickly identified and fixed, Chicago lacks a robust system of inspection and enforcement.

November 13, 2023 - Next City

Cyclists riding on green painted bike lane protected by flexible post delineators in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago Had a Banner Year for Bike Infrastructure

The city built more bike lane miles in 2023 than in any previous year.

November 5, 2023 - Streetsblog Chicago

Close-up of standard grey parking meter on Chicago street.

Why Chicago Doesn’t Own its Parking Meters

More than a decade ago, the city sold control of its curb parking to private investors.

November 2, 2023 - Jalopnik

Close-up of side of white and blue and red Chicago Transit Authority bus.

Chicago Transit Releases 2024 Budget

The agency projects modest ridership growth while aiming to make long-term investments in bus and rail improvements.

October 24, 2023 - Streetsblog Chicago

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Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.