Friday, February 12, 2021

TIF Districts in Chicago

 I use this blog to show ways GIS maps can be used to share information and to provide resources that people can use to tell stories showing where people need help.  Below is a screen shot from Chicago's Interactive TIF Data Map.

The website shows that "Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a special funding tool used by the City of Chicago to promote public and private investment across the city. Funds are used to build and repair roads and infrastructure, clean polluted land and put vacant properties back to productive use, usually in conjunction with private development projects."

The red and yellow dots on the map show infrastructure projects (yellow) and redevelopment projects (red).  You can turn on or off layers showing community area boundaries, planning regions and wards. You can click on any of the red or yellow dots to find information about that project.   You can zoom into the map down to the neighborhood level.  

Note: one of the most vocal critics of the TIF program is Tom Tresser, who I met via the Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences in the 1990s.  Here's a site where you can learn about Tom's concerns.   Frankly, I'd love to see a TIF map where there was a third set of dots, representing non-school youth tutor, mentor and learning programs funded with TIF dollars.  That would support the campaign I've led through the Tutor/Mentor Connection (1993-present) and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC (2011-present)  for the past 28 years.

At the left is a screen shot of the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator which my organization built in 2008 to share information about Chicago youth tutor, mentor and learning programs.  The site has not been updated since 2011 but remains a model for what needs to be created to help mentor-rich youth programs grow and thrive in every high poverty area of the city.

The TIF map is an example of the type of platform that could be developed in a new version of the Program Locator.  Something like this could be developed in any city of the world and shared via open source to every other city.  If you recognize the need for this in your city, or want to  help rebuild the Program Locator, and Tutor/Mentor Connection 4-part strategy, for Chicago, please reach out to me.

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