Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Creating a new vision for Chicago's future

November 24, 2013
To our readers:
In a series of editorials over the past two months, the Chicago Tribune called for the creation of a new Plan of Chicago to address the city's interconnected challenges in a holistic way. And we asked you to help us.
Our goal is to fashion a new vision for the future in the spirit of Daniel Burnham's revolutionary Plan of Chicago, the seminal 1909 blueprint for Chicago's emergence as a leading city of the world.
You've accepted the challenge, and we're gratified that more than 500 submissions have arrived so far. Some of your ideas have already been published in print and online, and more will be published in the coming weeks.
Weaving ideas into a vision
With today's editorial, the Tribune's Editorial Board, led by Editorial Page Editor Bruce Dold and Deputy Editor John McCormick, begins to frame how these ideas can be woven into a coherent and comprehensive set of policies to address the city's economic, crime, education and other problems.
We have reported how our troubled schools and lack of jobs have combined to condemn a large portion of the city's population to a life of poverty beset by crime and with little hope of escape. These and other problems are all facets of a larger whole, and they are not just Chicago problems. They ripple out in broad concentric circles and affect just about everyone in the region in some way at some time. They should be addressed as a whole.
Citizens must lead
This new vision must emanate from citizens, from civic organizations, universities, nonprofits and community groups. We believe this is essential because the people and organizations that make up the fabric of civic life in the Chicago region are driven by the right motives: ensuring that Chicago will be a vibrant city with opportunities for everyone deep into this century and the next.
Too often our broken politics and now-broke government have achieved only stopgap remedies. Too often these chronic problems are papered over or kicked down the road where huge debts piled up in the present will burden future generations.
Our role as convener
The Chicago Tribune will serve as a forum for the synthesis of ideas from all corners. We believe this is central to our mission to stand up for the interests of the community, give voice to diverse perspectives and advocate for solutions. We are invested in achieving the right outcomes because Chicago is our home too.
A plan unfolds
Over the next few months, we will publish more editorials, present your ideas and convene public forums to discuss them. The first of these meetings is our Chicago Forward event on Monday, Dec. 16, at the Museum of Broadcast Communications. Go to tribnation.com/events for more details.
We also urge you to participate in the campaign for a new Plan of Chicago by submitting your ideas. You can learn more about how to do this on today's Editorial Page or at chicagotribune.com/plan.
Together we can help ensure that a great city remains so.
Sincerely, Gerould W. Kern, Editor

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