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Equitable Recovery

Your go-to source for MPC’s analyses and recommendations on a unique moment in American history


COVID-19 brought the Chicago region—and the world—to its knees, sickening our residents, stressing our institutions, commerce, and infrastructure, and underscoring the inequities between our communities.


Moving forward from this pandemic requires creativity, community-mindedness, fiscal resources, listening to the wisdom of local leaders, and deep consultation with issue experts. The same is true for solutions to climate change, structural racism, global economic shifts and other threats to our individual and collective resilience.

Working collaboratively, we can rebond, in ways that prepare us for whatever comes next.

If you’re seeking ideas on how metropolitan Chicago can confront the unacceptable inequities quantified in our Cost of Segregation study… if you’re all in on creating a more equitable, sustainable, prosperous, engaged and responsible future… if you believe in the potential of cities as places where every family can thrive… then join us.

Our policy recommendations

The Metropolitan Planning Council’s work deals with the infrastructure critical to supporting individual and community health: housing, transportation, land use, water, and government operations. MPC’s COVID-19 analyses and recommendations are organized into three broad categories:

  1. Slow the Spread — Policies and practices that help reduce transmission by promoting physical distancing, supporting hygiene and wellbeing, testing and tracking, and preventing or responding quickly to future spikes in transmission.
  2. Immediate Financial Relief — Policies and practices that help people, businesses, and municipalities currently in financial distress.
  3. Build Back Better — Policies and practices that will help our communities recover from COVID-19 while also creating a more equitable and sustainable society in the long-term. Policies that will make us more prepared and resilient in the face of future threats.

View MPC’s COVID-19 resources and recommendations

All of MPC’s policy analyses and recommendations, updated frequently, can be found by clicking the box above, and recent highlights are featured below.

Ideas to grow stronger

Selected work includes:

“Data Points  The case for equitable investments driving COVID-19 recovery,” Daniel Cooper, December 8, 2020

Data transparency and a shared understanding of disinvestment (and structural racism) are crucial to make future investments more equitable.

“What we do now writes the future Chicago needs,” MarySue Barrett, October 23, 2020

This piece first appeared in Crain’s Chicago Business on October 22, 2020 as part of a package on Regional Resiliency.

“Take the long view, Chicago, and make sure public transit survives and thrives post-COVID-19,” MarySue Barrett, Amy Rynell, and Ron Burke, September 30, 2020

This opinion piece first appeared on September 25, 2020 in the Chicago Sun-Times.

“COVID-19 and justice-involved housing: double the challenge for returning citizens,” Lauren Kataja, Debbie Liu, and Chandra Christmas-Rouse, September 14, 2020

Sheltering in place is a challenge for returning citizens. Here’s why.

“Data Points | When COVID-19 meets structural inequity, Chicago’s immigrant population suffers,” Margarita Bernal, September 14, 2020

In this two-part Data Points series, MPC explores some structural and economic barriers that leave our immigrant community vulnerable to Coronavirus.

“Investing wisely in transportation,” Audrey Wennink, September 2, 2020

When a pandemic stretches already-tight budgets, how can we ensure that each transportation dollar does the most good?


By working together to build back after the pandemic, we can reimagine the systems that underpin our region and create a better, bolder and more equitable future for all Chicagoans.