This case study explores the work of Elevated Chicago (EC), a SPARCC Collaborative table, and its successful advancement of a variety of policy and capital strategies that support the health and resilience of Chicago residents. EC began their work by intentionally bringing together a diverse, well-rounded group of stakeholders to develop a work plan devoted to Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD). ETOD is a key mechanism for achieving racial equity, health equity, and climate justice goals as transit can connect people to ideas, innovations, and capital, both within and outside of their communities. EC promoted ETOD as a planning and investment approach, centered community engagement principles, and influenced city level policy to incorporate an explicit equity focus within Chicago’s transit policy plan.
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This case study highlights several of their successes, including the adoption of the Chicago ETOD Policy Plan, the city’s first ever equitable development plan. This milestone was a result of the close partnership EC built with the City of Chicago and the extensive 18-month community engagement process EC led. This plan includes 36 recommendations to advance racial equity, community wealth building, climate resilience, public health and so much more.
EC also leveraged SPARCC capital resources and technical assistance, along with partnerships with local developers, finance institutions, and government institutions, to secure over $10 million in capital funding for ETOD projects across their targeted neighborhoods. The case study highlights five such capital projects.
These accomplishments have paved the way for meaningful investment and infrastructure to create healthy opportunities for all Chicagoans.