Neighborhood Development

Our approach to development

Ald. Vasquez giving a speech at the Ainslie Arts Plaza for the groundbreaking of Lincoln Ave Streetscape

The 40th Ward is committed to fostering a vibrant and inclusive community through strategic neighborhood development initiatives. By focusing on key areas such as bike and pedestrian safety, affordable housing, accessible transit, economic development, and public art, we are working to create a more livable, accessible, and equitable ward that benefits all of our neighbors. 

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Want to know what developments are currently going on in the Ward? See below for some of the featured projects currently happening in the 40th Ward.

Please note: Major Projects are highlights of selected major development initiatives but are not a comprehensive list of all development projects in the 40th Ward.

To find out about other development and infrastructure work going on in the Ward, view the 40th Ward infrastructure map below! You can find out more about the types of infrastructure improvements listed on this map in the infrastructure improvement section below. For more information on each project, click the marker.

Infrastructure improvement programs

Curious how infrastructure improvements get funded and who decides what to fix? Check out some of the major infrastructure improvement programs below, and what they fund.

Capital Improvement Program (CIP)

The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is the City of Chicago’s five-year plan for improving, modernizing, and/or replacing the City’s public infrastructure. Each year, the City releases a map to each Ward of CIP projects in their area. You can see the 2024 Capital Plan Map below.

Within the CIP’s Neighborhood Infrastructure program, each ward is allocated $1.5 million in funds to spend on permanent infrastructure like street resurfacing, alley reconstruction, sidewalk and curb and gutter repairs, street lighting replacement, and pedestrian and bike safety infrastructure. 

Every ward has its own method of allocating funds; in the 40th Ward we use the participatory budget process, which we call the People’s Budget. We allocate $1M of our Menu funds through that process; the remaining $500K is reserved to pay for any emergency repairs or urgent projects that come up throughout the year.

Is there a repair needed in your neighborhood? Submit a repair request to our office anytime!

People’s Budget (PB)

Each year, 40th Ward residents have the opportunity to submit project proposals and vote on how we will spend $1M of infrastructure funds. Learn more about the People’s Budget.

How do we make decisions on what repairs to fund?

We review each for:

  • Location
  • Eligibility
  • Urgency
  • If it’s already happening

CDOT Estimates

CDOT reviews for:

  • Cost
  • Feasibility
  • Conflicts with utility or city work

Final Project Selection

Based on:

  • Equity
  • Community impact
  • Severity
  • Budget

Construction timeline

Varies by:

  • Project type
  • City backlogs
  • Contractor issues

In addition to encouraging neighbors to submit repair requests, we also survey the Ward on a quarterly basis to identify areas that may need repairs. We review these requests regularly; if a project is urgent, we may submit the request to CDOT immediately. Otherwise, we determine which repair projects to submit at the beginning of each year using the following factors: 

  • Feasibility: Is this doable with the amount of funds we have?
  • Equity: Are we dividing the money equitably throughout the ward?
  • Community Impact: Will this project solve an issue facing our community? How many people will it serve? 
  • Severity: how bad is the situation that will be repaired, and will the repair adequately address the problem?

CDOT then surveys those requests for feasibility and cost and sends us an estimate for each project. Typically, we make final allocations in May of each year, after which projects will be scheduled for construction.

Current year Menu Program projects

Bike and pedestrian safety programs

Pedestrian and traffic safety and transit access are major priorities for our office. We advocate for and fund multimodal transit options through improved road design, pedestrian safety devices like pedestrian refuge islands and bump-outs, and expansion and improvement of our bike lane network.

Bikeways Program

The Chicago Bikeways Program works to build the best bike network in the country by providing low-stress options for cyclists to connect to the destinations they need. See below for a map of the upcoming expansion of the Far Northside Bike Network!

Traffic studies

The Traffic Safety Program works to prevent severe crashes on our streets and therefore eliminate fatalities and serious injuries as a result of vehicle traffic. We work with the Traffic Safety team by identifying areas of concern within the 40th Ward through traffic study.

Want to get more involved in making our streets safer? Join the 40th Ward Safe Streets Board

Tax-incremental financing (TIF)

Tax increment financing (TIF) was introduced in 1985 as a way to incentivize investment in underinvested areas. Under Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration, the City is shifting away from the TIF model and instead introduced the Housing and Economic Development Bond, a 5-year, $1.25 billion effort to make strategic investments in housing, business, and cultural and community assets, which will be funded by expiring TIF districts. 

In the meantime, for TIF districts that are still active, the 40th Ward office supports the use of TIF funds for key areas, e.g. improvements to parks and public schools, pedestrian and bike safety infrastructure, and the creation of affordable housing.

Contact the 40th Ward Office

Our office works to ensure you feel supported, connected, and valued. Please reach out with any questions or concerns you may have—we are here to help!