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Chicago General Plan Essay

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Updated: Dec 12th, 2018

One of state law requirements is that cities should prepare general plans and regularly update them. General plan is a long range and internally constituted statement of the city development and preservation policies. It serves as a constitution for the future physical development (Mell 45). It acts as a statement of community goals, values, objectives, and creates a future vision of the city.

General plan also referred as a development or comprehensive plan guides decision makers when making future decision. It helps them set community priorities and values which are helpful in making future decisions (Thomas 102). The general plan consists of goals, objectives, policies and actions that help to manage change. It also specifies what is essential to communities and portrays where different development should be allocated.

Once a general plan is adopted it should be evaluated regularly to enable the access effectiveness of various programs. These help decision makers to modify various programs in order to continue moving toward the set goals and help to remodify assumptions which may longer be relevant due to changing circumstances. Elements Of a general plan include: utilities, transport, land use, recreation and housing (Mell 234).

City of Chicago is located in the U.S State of Illinois on the Southern western shore of Lake Michigan. It is the third biggest city in USA and covers 590 square kilometers. It is the pioneer of skyscraper building after building of a first ever skyscraper building, the Home Insurance Building. The skyscraper building started in Chicago after the Great Chicago fire which increased the price of land. This made architect adopt the trend of building upwards.

Since then, other developers have followed this pattern making Chicago have a boom in the skyscraper buildings like Trump International Hotel and 55 East Erie (Carl 29). Chicago is one of the world greatest urban places and Lake Michigan and River Chicago define the heart of the city. Its broad lake front system, which is built beyond the original shoreline, distinguishes Chicago from any other city in the USA.

The most valuable asset of Chicago is the lake front, its park system, the collection of cultural institution and entertainment facilities. Chicago is also distinguished from other cities like San Francisco by its flat topography which has allowed numerous building of tall buildings, which makes the city unique. It is also renowned in the world for its unique park system like the museum campus and Millennium Park (Carl 57).

The Chicago transport system moves people masses and billions of dollars annually, and it is the hub of the world most extensive railway system, home of two busiest airports, have a well-established bicycle network and support the nation’s busiest transit system. Transport drives the economy and thus should have well coordinated plan for managing the transport system (Mell 89).

In coming up with an effective transportation plan, it is crucial to study the social, historical and economic characteristics of the city. This helps to detect possible deficiencies in the transport system and also help in coming up with future improvements (Thomas 122).

Furthermore, when planning transport of the city its crucial to put into consideration the city’s density as failure to manage this can harm businesses. The local government should plan for private vehicles parking by constructing large parking garage in areas where there is high population. Also, it is important to place higher densities of jobs or dwellers close to high transportation volume through what is called transit oriented development.

This is a residential and commercial center designed to minimize access by transit and non motorized transportation. It consists of the grid street system, limited surface parking, efficient parking management, pedestrian and bicycle oriented design, mixed housing type, office and retail particularly on main streets. This also aids in boosting the transit system in Chicago (Carl 78).

The railway infrastructure in Chicago is critical for growth of the nation’s commerce. Thus, investment should be continuously done to modernize the railway infrastructure. Plans should be implemented on how to decongest the railway system. This will help to improve future economic growth. It will also increase the efficiency and reliability of much of the nation rail service (Thomas 58).

The state law requires cities to come up with the general plan and regularly update them. Thus, local government should continuously maintain and repair roads, for example, through patching up potholes and reconstruction of bridges (Carl 97). This will help in the infrastructure modernization by using new materials, modern technologies and the best management technologies. Roadways should be consistent in width and materials.

There is a necessity in coming up with procedures on how to ensure safety in the transport infrastructure. In the transport system, pedestrians share the right ways with fast moving vehicles and bicycles intermingle with delivery trucks. Thus, the local government should come up with effective plans of implementing, enforcement and education of safety measures to the masses.

Moreover, ensure that all streets are designed and safe for all users, for example, the pedestrians, cyclist, motorists, children and people with disabilities. Good safety habits will help to decrease transportation risks and increase safety, efficient and enjoyable city (Mell 235).

Great streets are crucial for businesses and can either harm or help businesses. Streets should have careful designs. Streets in residential areas should be free of traffic, and this will help neighbors gather and interact (Carl 300). The street in commercial zones must have a high notch of pedestrian facilities, wide side walkways and sitting areas to serve a multitude of visitors. Those in industrial areas must serve the needs of workers and businesses.

There is requisite to come up with approaches on how to manage truck mobility. Most businesses rely on trucks for deliveries. Plans should be set to enable trucks find the best time and place to load and off load their goods. Drivers should be provided with better information to allow them get to their destinations as efficiently as possible (Mell 302).

The local government can come up with a website where citizens can air their requests. For example, request for improvement and repairing of roads, signs and bridges. This will be in line with the local government vision of improving the services of Chicago people who are their customers, funders and neighbors (Thomas 202).

The local government came up with a tree planting program called the Chicago Green Streets Program. They plant trees along and near major streets with an aim of increasing canopy cover (Carl 245). Trees appreciate in value, have economic value, ecological value and have social benefits. Plans should be put in place to introduce new species and carry out education to residents on the benefits of tree planting.

In conclusion, when coming up with a Chicago City transport plan, it is important to consider the city’s vision, mission and objectives. This will ensure that the city continues to be a vibrant internationally and aid in future decision making.

Works Cited

Carl, Smith. The Plan of Chicago. U.S: University of Chicago Press, 2006. Print.

Mell, Scott. American City Planning: Since 1890. U.S: University of California Press, 1971. Print.

Thomas, S Hines. Burnham of Chicago: Architect and Planner. U.S: University of Chicago Press, 2008. Print.

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