Equitable Transit-Oriented Development
Every Chicagoan should be able to live in a healthy, walkable, vibrant community connected to transit and all its benefits. The City of Chicago seeks to realize this vision through efforts to promote Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD).
Since 2013, the City of Chicago has been encouraging compact, mixed-use transit-oriented development (TOD) near CTA and Metra rail stations. This development model can create community benefits such as increased transit ridership and more walkable communities, both of which reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, while also promoting public health and adding to the City’s tax base. Through a series of ordinances, first adopted by City Council in 2013, Chicago has remained committed to evolving its approach to TOD.
In 2020, the City published its comprehensive Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD) Policy Plan, which not only built upon the earlier TOD initiatives, but established equity as a guiding framework for TOD initiatives moving forward. The 2020 ETOD Policy Plan was developed through an intensive 18-month outreach process with a cross-sector group of over 70 neighborhood, citywide, and regional stakeholders as well as multiple city departments and sister agencies, convened by the Mayor’s Office and Elevated Chicago. The plan was further revised after a 45-day public comment period and unanimously adopted by Chicago Plan Commission in June 2021.
The City’s ETOD goals, established through the plan, include driving investment near transit in disinvested communities, preventing displacement in communities facing rising housing costs, and promoting affordable housing options near transit in low-affordability communities – all while creating more walkable, people-centered neighborhoods everywhere.
Most recently, the City passed the Connected Communities Ordinance in July 2022. This ordinance is the most comprehensive and equity-focused update to the City’s transit-oriented development policy yet. Crafted in partnership with Elevated Chicago and over 80 civic and community stakeholders, the Connected Communities Ordinance implements many recommendations from the 2021 ETOD Policy Plan, leveraging development near transit to connect Chicagoans to the resources and amenities they need - from jobs and schools to services and more.
Currently, an ETOD working group of over 40 community members and stakeholders (listed below) meets quarterly to advise the City’s progress toward implementing its ETOD goals. Through this working group, the City maintains its commitment to ensuring community voices guide how Chicago develops and grows.
Equitable TOD (ETOD) is development that enables all people regardless of income, race, ethnicity, age, gender, immigration status or ability to experience the benefits of dense, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented development near transit hubs. ETOD elevates and prioritizes investments and policies that close the socioeconomic gaps between neighborhoods that are predominately people of color and those that are majority white. ETOD projects and processes elevate community voice in decision making processes and in realizing community-focused benefits such as affordable housing, public health, strong local businesses, and environmental sustainability, to name a few. When centered on racial inclusion and community wealth building, ETOD can be a driver of positive transformation for more vibrant, prosperous, and resilient neighborhoods connected to opportunities throughout the city and region.
ETOD development and pre-development grant finalists can find additional resources on the Chicago Recovery Plan Grant Finalist Resources page.
Thomas Applegate, North River Commission
Dalia Aragon, NRC
Juan Sebastian Arias, Mayor's Office
Joy Aruguete, Bickerdike
Jordan Bailey, MPC
Lindsay Bailey, CMAP
Jordan Bailly, MPC
Aja Bonner, DOH
Cindy Cambray, CMAP
Enrique Castillo, CMAP
Chandra Christmas-Rouse, MPC
Christian Diaz, LSNA
Laurie Dittman, MOPD
Joe Dunne, Bickerdike
Molly Eckert, POAH
Ghian Foreman, Emerald South Economic Dev. Collab
Kendra Freeman, MPC
Dan Fulwiler, Esperanza Health Centers
Dr. Rev. Joseph Gordon, Carter Temple CDC
Kathleen Gregory, Esperanza Health Centers
Liz Gres, McKinley Park Community Council
Jacky Grimshaw, CNT
Natasha Hamilton, DOH
Jennifer Henry, CTA
Anton Hilton, Hilton Group, LLC
Leslé Honoré, CNT
Michael Horsting, RTA
Nina Idemudia, DPD
Aaron Johnson, DOH
Carolina Juarez, Rogers Park Business Alliance
David Kralik, Metra
Vig Krishnamuthy, CDOT
Abraham Lacy, Far South CDC
Emily Laflamme, CNT
Kate McMahon CDPH
Cindy McSherry ULI
Jim Merrell, Active Trans
Leah Mooney, CTA
Heather Mullins, RTA
Patrick Murphey, DPD
Stephanie Neal, IFF
Carlos Nelson, Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corp.
Janell Nelson, JNJ Creative
Jannice Newsome, Elevated Chicago
Laurie Odig, Food Matters
Charlotte O'Donnell Obodzinski, PACE
Kevin O'Malley, CDOT
Roberto Requejo, Elevated Chicago
Kimberley Rudd, Rudd Resources
Laura Saltzman, Access Living
Marly Schott, Elevated Chicago
Robert Schultz III, Active Trans
Dawveed Scully, DPD
Jamie Simone, CDOT
Melvin Thompson, Endeleo Institute
Mike Tomas, GPCC
Jason Wald, CTA
Audrey Wennik, MPC
Kyle Whitehead, RTA
Alma Wieser, Equity Arts
Drew Williams-Clark, MPC
Will Woodley, The Community Builders
Mariia Zimmerman, MZ Strategies