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Equitable Transit-Oriented Development: Corridor Development Initiative (CDI)

Community Input Drives Change

Whether you are a resident who wants to learn more about ETOD in your neighborhood, a community organization that would like to design a hypothetical development for a specific parcel, or a local developer who wants take advantage of the incentives available through the TOD ordinance, this online ETOD calculator provides information and increases the potential for new Equitable Transit Oriented Development that benefits all residents of Chicago. 

Corridor Development Initiative (CDI)
A hands-on opportunity for residents to explore feasible development options in their neighborhood

The Corridor Development Initiative (CDI) is a participatory planning process that allows communities to proactively plan for real world development scenarios. This three-part planning process helps residents understand issues such as density, affordable housing and the true cost of development, while creating a set of priorities to guide community leaders as they plan for future development in their neighborhoods.

Integral to the CDI is the hands-on opportunity for residents to “build” what they would like to see and test whether their projects are financially feasible. The CDI process allows residents to consider development options and to explore how their ideas might pan out on the ground. The CDI is not a master planning process but can be integrated with such processes.

Learn more about our CDIs in Rogers Park (October 2020), Woodlawn (January 2018), Uptown (May 2014),  Logan Square (September 2014), AuroraHyde ParkLogan Square and North Lawndale.

The CDI process: A three-step collaboration

The CDI process consists of three community meetings that occur over a span of several weeks. The process is facilitated by MPC and led by a community-based organization or public official.

Before the community meetings, a steering committee of invested community members convenes to discuss development opportunities and challenges, identify specific parcels that have (re)development potential and develop an outreach strategy that will connect as many community members as possible to the process.

Meeting 1: Existing conditions and goals
The first meeting provides an overview of current land use policies and demographic and commercial changes in the community, giving residents a chance to discuss (re)development opportunities and challenges and set concrete goals.

A CDI creates realistic development recommendations, like this mixed-use structure for North Lawndale.

Meeting 2: Block exercise
At the second meeting, community members explore economic and design options for their community through a hands-on block exercise. Residents create hypothetical development options for three sites using various wooden blocks that represent retail and housing units. As community members build their proposals, they are sketched by design advisors, while a real estate advisor calculates development costs and revenues.

Meeting 3: Development recommendations
The final meeting features a panel of real estate experts and/or developers who respond to the outcomes of the block exercise in light of current market trends. These recommendations are then compiled into a report that community leaders can present to potential developers to provide them with a community-led vision.

The result: A guide for developers and neighbors

The CDI process creates a customized set of development guidelines and principles, crafted jointly by the community and professionals, that facilitate and guide neighborhood growth. Developers can use the CDI report to understand local opportunities and values, while residents benefit from having a starting point for discussions with developers.