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Greater Peoria Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) collaborated with the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council and University of Illinois Extension during this past year as part of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) planning process. The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy is a document led by the public sector that focuses on synthesizing information so as to better inform public sector strategies and actions. Throughout...
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Moving Toward Transportation Equity: A Case Study

Transportation moves us. Jobs, school, health clinics, grocery stores, recreational facilities, and more would be impossible to get to without adequate service and infrastructure. But history shows that the benefits of transportation have not been distributed equitably, and historically marginalized communities have had to bear disproportionate costs from transportation as well. More recently, planners have taken up the challenge of creating a more equitable transportation system. Achieving...
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Building an Equitable and Just Green Infrastructure Strategy in the North Central Region

Aging water infrastructure, extreme weather, and pressure from residents for green space and community resilience are bringing about changes to the way cities around the country are thinking about stormwater management. In times past, preferred practices funneled water into pipes underground, moving it away from the built environment as fast as possible. However, these practices can impair water quality and do not always solve flooding problems. Increasingly, communities are considering green...
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Streator Incubator Feasibility Study

Streator is a forward thinking city. During the spring of 2019 the city contracted with Illinois Business Consulting, the University of Illinois EDA University Center and the University of Illinois Extension to provide a study on the economic impact of investing in resources for local business. The economic impact study was able to show not just direct revenue gains, but the total economic impact of creating one new...
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University of Illinois College of Medicine - Peoria Partnership

Our partnerships with U of I College of Medicine - Peoria are cross-disciplinary and mutually beneficial. Even though we are both part of the University of Illinois System our partnership is relatively new. Once it started, more and more mutually beneficial opportunities became evident. Extension staff in the areas of horticulture, community and economic development, 4-H youth development, and SNAP-Ed all have ongoing projects in which UICOMP is a partner. There are several...
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Extension Staff Involved in Filling the Grocery Gap in Peoria

When two more grocery stores closed in 2018 in Southside and East Bluff Peoria neighborhoods, University of Illinois Extension staff joined the team of policymakers, nongovernmental organizations, and activists working to eliminate disparities in equitable access to healthy food. The process to fill the gap in access to healthy food in the City of Peoria is a challenge that is multi-faceted but began with conducting a grocery store survey. Local Extension staff with expertise in community and...
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Market Analysis Project Assists Delavan with Big Ideas to Improve their Small Town

There are tremendous opportunities in small town’s historic downtowns. This past fall University of Illinois Extension partnered with a Bradley University marketing class to implement a market analysis that will help Delavan, IL identify business opportunities in their community. Through the course of the semester, students engaged community residents and businesses in a study process to understand local market strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. The students conducted extensive...
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Pekin Corridor Plan

In late November, University of Illinois Extension collaborated with Hanson Engineering, City of Pekin, and UIUC Department of Urban and Regional Planning in conducting a planning study. The study looked at the area's needs, assets and opportunities with the focus on better serving residents, visitors and businesses who use the street regularly. The planning process examined issues such as walkability, street beautification, parking needs, traffic calming and safety. The idea is to improve the...
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{re}Imagine West Main Sets Stage for Progress

School of Architecture students worked with City of Peoria’s Innovation Team to begin small changes that will lead to big impacts in one Peoria neighborhood. Improving the livability of our towns and cities commonly starts at the street, block, or building scale. While larger scale efforts do have their place, incremental, small-scale improvements are increasingly seen as a way to stage more substantial investments. University of Illinois Extension and the U of I College of...
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