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Calumet Rivers Development Project

The Calumet Rivers Development Project is a collaborative, inter-jurisdictional planning initiative with the goal of stimulating economic development and investment in the 7 communities linked by the Calumet River system, including Burnham, Calumet City, Calumet Park, Dolton, Riverdale, Robbins, and Blue Island.  The project focuses on the Calumet River system as an important environmental amenity and economic asset. It is based on the assumption that by strategically working together, the communities will be able to accelerate and expand the potential economic impact of their individual efforts.

The project is led by South Suburban Mayors & Managers Association (SSMMA) with funding by the Grand Victoria Foundation.

The initial phase of the project resulted in the Calumet River Corridor: Economic Development Vision and Strategy and the identification of priority projects and development sites within the corridor.

Recommendations of the Economic Development Vision & Strategy

  1. Establish a Calumet River Corridor Economic Development Council
  2. Sponsor a Planning and Economic Development Academy
  3. Support Development of the Cal-Sag Trail
  4. Support Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) in Robbins and Blue Island
  5. Support Development at the Robbins Community Power Facility and adjacent Energy Park
  6. Market and Develop Industrial Property in Dolton and Calumet City
  7. Plan Corridor Festivals and Events
  8. Prepare a Calumet River Corridor Pattern Book/Design Guidelines
  9. Work with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) on Land Conveyance Processes
  10. Research Opportunities to Pursue Green Technology and Development

Accomplishments/Current Activities

  • March 2007: Resolution adopting vision statement for the Calumet River Corridor passed by Blue Island and other Corridor communities.
  • Spring 2007: Calumet River Corridor Economic Development Council formally established.
  • Fall 2007: SSMMA received a grant to create a development pattern book for the Calumet River Corridor.  Click here to download the award-winning final product, Calumet River Corridor: Green Pattern Book.
  • Spring – Summer 2008: Metropolitan Planning Council organized and facilitated several sessions of the Planning and Economic Development Academy.  Sites chosen as development models include the Robbins/Blue Island TOD and Calumet City Industrial properties identified in the “Recommended Actions” section of the Corridor Vision.
  • Ongoing: Development of the Cal-Sag Trail
  • Ongoing: SSMMA and Center For Neighborhood Technology have been actively working together on the MWRD land conveyance issue.