Chicago, IL Builds An Equitable City

The city of Chicago, IL has launched the first phase of the Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD) grant program. ETOD – a part of a new Department of Planning and Development (DPD) universal application process for funding under $250,000 – is designed to support the creation of dense, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented development near transit hubs. The program is seeking to fund and support projects that show a commitment to advancing health and racial equity and that prioritize walkability and transit-orientation in their design.  The primary goal of the grant initiative is to support Chicago’s economic recovery and foster thriving neighborhoods across the entire city. 

The ETOD program is supported by the Connected Communities Ordinance, which was adopted by the City Council earlier this year. The ordinance plans to: create jobs and allow for more homes and businesses near transit by expanding existing TOD incentives; improve the safety of streets and sidewalks near transit, and encourage walking, biking, and rolling; and increase housing opportunity, affordability and accessibility, especially near transit.

In this first phase, ETOD is looking for organizations that can provide technical assistance for the community groups and other stakeholders that will receive grant funding in 2023. The second phase of the program will provide grants and technical assistance to directly support dense, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented development.

 “In order to realize my administration’s vision for an equitable city, we must redress and improve the ways we invest in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “By putting funding support behind the Connected Communities Ordinance, we are living our values by supporting developments that are accessible to all residents as well as catalytic for their communities. I look forward to seeing the communities’ proposals for more equitable and inclusive development come to reality through this funding.”