Lamar Johnson Collaborative, Urban3 to complete comprehensive plan for Joliet

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

The City of Joliet has approved two companies to complete a plan that will direct the next decade of development. Joliet has not completed a long-term comprehensive plan for nearly six decades.

Lamar Johnson Collaborative and Urban3 were chosen following a two-year process.

A comprehensive plan is a blueprint that guides choices and spending based on feedback from the community. It will enable Joliet be more strategic in capital improvements in service to current residents and stakeholders, as well as assist the development of the community and future residents and businesses.

“This will be our blueprint for the city moving forward,” said Mayor Terry D’Arcy. “It has been in the works for a long time but now we have the opportunity to work together as a community to plan our future.”

The Lamar Johnson project will be completed in five phases over an 18–24-month period.

  • Phase 1: Evaluate (project kick-off, project branding, data collection, existing conditions analysis, advisory committee and working group meetings)
  • Phase 2: Investigate (key person interviews, community visioning public workshop, key topic area definition and policy framework, advisory committee and working group meetings)
  • Phase 3: Enhance (public workshop on key topic areas, advisory committee and working group meetings)
  • Phase 4: Empower (preparation of draft plan and preparation of subarea plans, advisory committee and working group meetings)
  • Phase 5: Examine (preparation of implementation plan, presentation of final plan, final plan open house)

Based on Joliet’s size (roughly 63 sq. miles and the amount of work involved, the cost of the project is estimated at $581,000 to be paid over the next three fiscal years.

Urban3 was also recommended to perform a specialized Economic Analysis as part of the overall comprehensive plan project. This Economic Analysis will evaluate the impact that development has on the city’s finances and infrastructure. This analysis will also enable Joliet to make policy decisions on future developments with the understanding of the overall impacts to the city.

“The Lamar Johnson Collaborative proposes a planning project and process that includes a variety of outreach and engagement activities,” said city planner and project manager Jayne Bernhard. “They will be meeting residents through a wide variety of meetings including actively engaging those not traditionally involved in the planning process, including youth, students, non‐native English speakers, shift‐workers and more.”

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