Attended the American Planning Association Conference this week in Chicago (At my own expense, no city money, need to keep my AICP Certification). Great Conference, which celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Burnham Plan.
The City looks great. It keeps getting better looking. And tourism has become very large. There must have been 50 tourist boats in the Chicago River and along Navy Pier - a huge increase from a few years ago.
I would estimate about 30% of the Burnham Plan was actually constructed. Many proposals were too difficult or costly for the City to undertake. But what was built substantially improved the City.
I think the city should still build a few more of his proposals. The second Pier should be built - would add public access and land into Lake Michigan. And this time it could be "Green" and sustainable, improving the natural environment while providing more public open space next to downtown and the lakefront.
And the central train terminal should be built, with better interface among all public transit systems and automobiles.
Chicago is a great city. And looking better every year. And good luck on getting the Olympic Games in 2016. And by the way, it would be a great time to also build the Worlds Fair - one year before or one year after.
But having said all that, I prefer to live in Peoria. Our 360,000 people in the metro area is the right size - the 8,000,000 people in the Chicago Metro area is a few too many. Our rush hour is a rush minute. You can get anywhere in less then 20 minutes.
My commute to work is 1/2 mile, and our great lake is 1 mile from my home, and less then 15 minutes from anywhere in the metro area. Parking is free. And our housing costs are affordable.
So, move your business and home to Peoria. You can always visit the big cities of St Louis and Chicago - about 2.5 hours away.