A Chicago Sun-Times story looking at pandemic recovery by Chicago features perspective from Teresa Cordova, director of the Great Cities Institute and professor of urban planning and policy at UIC, and Matt Wilson, senior research specialist with the Great Cities Institute.
Teresa Cordova, director of the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois Chicago, also spoke of a manufacturing revival that could nurture entrepreneurship and create jobs that support families.
“One thing we learned in this pandemic is the importance of essential workers. They deserve our respect and livable pay,” she said.
Cordova, who also chairs the Chicago Plan Commission, spoke of how developers are captives of a boom-and-bust cycle, which often means too much gets built. Everybody needs to slow down and think about community benefits in large-scale projects and to make sure there’s enough affordable housing, she said.
A colleague of hers at the Great Cities Institute, economic development planner Matt Wilson, said Chicago could take the cars off some commercial streets and turn them into pedestrian-centered lanes or plazas. It would build on a city-sponsored experiment in some neighborhoods the past two summers that people, craving socialization with fresh air, seemed to like.