Calumet Stewardship Initiative

Smart Growth

ECCo’s Smart Growth team is made up of regional organizations, local governments, institutional partners, and planning, architecture, and engineering professionals working together to foster sustainable development and responsible stewardship in the Calumet region. Smart Growth is founded on broad principles for guiding community development with an emphasis on the importance of redevelopment opportunities within our cities and towns.

 A popular diagram of the concept of green infrastructure in which larger open space hubs are linked by corridors that facilitate the flows of people, wildlife, flora, water, and other resources












This picture of green infrasturcture illustrates the ideal of having green corridors link large core areas to serve human uses (recreation and flood contriol) and provide habitat. Photo Credit: The Conservation Fund.

Smart Growth policies promote and enhance traditional neighborhood development and strengthen our Calumet communities by supporting a mix of land uses, walkable neighborhoods, and compact building design.  Linking land use and transportation decision-making is “smart” for the Calumet region and helps communities preserve their open space (and even farmland!) while continuing to provide a variety of transportation choices and housing opportunities. A commitment to quality design will ensure the long-term success of our neighborhoods, enhancing existing architecture, pedestrian-friendly features, and access to transportation, recreation, and commerce. Smart Growth seeks to make the development process fair, open, and cost-effective while encouraging local collaboration. This is the foundation for maintaining distinctive, attractive places to live, work, and visit in the Calumet region.

Participants in a green infrastructure workshop in Chicago’s southern suburbs share their ideas for community improvements and open space.
Adding to a map at a south suburban Smart Growth workshop for residence. Photo Credit: Laura Milkert, The Field Museum. 2011.

The Smart Growth team organizes workshops for Calumet residents and other stakeholders on important smart growth concepts, including transit-oriented development (TOD) and stormwater best management practices (BMPS) or green infrastructure. These workshops are open to the public and offer both novice and advanced practitioners opportunities to learn and network with their regional partners. Our goal is to encourage development that enhances the well-being of each community while sustainably managing our resources.

The Smart Growth steering committee meets monthly in downtown Chicago.  For more information send an e-mail to team chair Eric Neagu at [email protected].

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