The guidebook serves as a toolkit of sorts to help planners, administrators, and others formulate comprehensive plans and responses to current and future effects resulting from a changing climate. The guidebook addresses a number of water related issues and vulnerabilities, including flood protection and mitigation, meeting drinking water needs, and more.
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant’s extension climatologist Molly Woloszyn assisted in the creation of the toolkit, specifically in drafting the guidebook’s Primary Impacts of Climate Change in the Chicago Region appendix (PDF), along with the Illinois State Climatologist Office and the Midwestern Regional Climate Center. The section reviews the state of scientific knowledge regarding climate change in northeastern Illinois with a particular focus on variables of interest to municipalities. The section offers information on several anticipated impacts from changing climate conditions, including periods of heavy rain and corresponding flooding, increased drought conditions, weather variability that can affect utilities, and additional concerns.
The guidebook is one part of northeastern Illinois’ comprehensive plan GO TO 2040, which addresses environmental impacts, energy efficiency, transportation needs, and other areas of concern for growing municipal populations in the coming years.
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) was recently recognized with a National Planning Excellence award for their work developing GO TO 2040 – a comprehensive regional plan that unites and coordinates seven counties infrastructure development.
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant’s Margaret Schneeman, who works directly with CMAP, was involved in the plan development and implementation, and Martin Jaffe served on the Regional Water Supply planning group. Their efforts, combined with the expertise and work of dozens of individuals and agencies, resulted in the completion of the regional plan that will enhance sustainable development and planning throughout 284 communities in and around the Chicago area.
The summarized plan can be read here, and you can visit the GO TO 2040 link above to read the complete plan.
The American Planning Association awards programs, individuals, and agencies that utilize and implement planning techniques designed to create more sustainable communities. Visit the National Planning Awards 2013 webpage to see the complete list of award winners, including information about the GO TO 2040 plan.
You can also visit our Water Supply page to learn more about the importance of planning on water quality, safety, and availability.