This comic was inspired by Planetizen’s coverage of the American Planning Association’s recent convention in Chicago (OK, so the convention happened several weeks ago but I am only posting this now).  I was inspired in particular by an interview with D. Bradford Hunt and John B. DeVries, where they discussed that Chicago’s current planning culture is “in retreat”, a far cry from earlier times. Daniel Burnham had a plan for Chicago, which was proudly implemented. ” Millennium Park was actually the completion of a much earlier vision from the Burnham Plan, so its lineage goes back fairly far, ” says DeVries.  You can read the whole article here (it’s not too long).

Right now, Chicago has the GoTo 2040 plan, created by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. While it looks really snazzy, and all of the elements included (power, transportation, water, job creation etc) are important, the plan has been criticized for it’s lack of actionable goals (the lack of plan to the plan) as well as CMAP’s sluggishness to advertise and promote the plan.  Copies of the Burnham Plan were given out to everyone with an address in the city of Chicago.  Have most modern Chicagoans even heard of GoTo 2040? I’m not sure I would have if I weren’t a planning geek.