Equitable Transit-Oriented Development Plan, Chicago, IL, 2020

  • Featured Overview
  • Date Launched: Sep 14, 2020
  • Dates given are approximate.


Chicago has released its first ever Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (eTOD) plan and shared it with the public for comments and feedback. The eTOD plan was mandated by the city’s 2019 amendment to the Chicago TOD ordinance, which included an investigation into the TOD disparities. The plan was developed in partnership with Elevated Chicago and outlines, eTOD as “development that enables all people regardless of income, race, ethnicity, age, gender, immigration status or ability to experience the benefits of dense, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented development near transit hubs. ETOD elevates and prioritizes investments and policies that close the socioeconomic gaps between neighborhoods that are predominately people of color and those that are majority white.” The need for an eTOD plan in Chicago is based on several statistics such as: 

  • Previously, 90% of new TOD projects took place in the North Side, Northwest Side, Downtown and around the West Loop. 
  • Households in areas with new TOD projects have, on average, access to 1.73 times more jobs than households in areas without TOD project activity (as defined by jobs within 30 minutes on transit). 
  • In addition, TOD projects approved between 2016 and 2019 are expected to create 75,533 new jobs in the City and produce over 3,000 new affordable housing units through the City’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance.

Recommendations for the plan are organized into three strategies priorities:

  • Build the City’s Capacity to support ETO
  • Making ETOD required, easier, and more equitable
  • Embedding ETOD principles into Chicago’s citywide planning proces

These priorities hope to result in outcomes including Anti-Displacement, Climate Resilience, Community Reinvestment, Desegregation, Economic Growth and Recovery, Health Equity, and Wealth Building. The city believes that achieving some of the recommendations will require multiple departments and stakeholders to be involved. 

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