The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission is a council composed of representatives from local governing bodies. Its aim is to address transportation, environmental, community, and economic issues. In 1965 the organization started as the Lake-Porter County Regional Transportation and Planning Commission, what a mouthful.
By 2003 the organization had a new acronym, NIRPC, and had grown to include a 3rd county, LaPorte, and total of 41 towns or cities. Representatives must by elected officials to be one of the 53 members in this organization that has concerns for an area of 1520 square miles an approximately 770,000 citizens.
A few major themes for NIRPC are population and job growth. The 2040 Plan itself is a nod to The Region's population growth. It is projected to close in on one million residents around the year 2040. Along with this are speculated 80,000 new jobs in the fields of transportation, distribution, logistics, advanced manufacturing, IT, as well as professional and medical services. The regional economy requires a workforce that competes globally and that means increasing access to educational opportunities at every level of competence that improve job development possibilities. Regional universities will also become facilities to share resources when lacking NIRPC staff support.
Another vital component to the landscape of northwestern Indiana is the Lakefront! Revitalization of the "core communities" along the lake is a focal point of the 2040 Plan. Cities like Gary, Hammond, East Chicago, and Michigan City will receive improved green spaces. The communities hope to extend greenways and parks while expanding passive open spaces. They also have as desire to improve and promote the local food system. There are "brownfields" to clean up too, those spaces with pollution left behind by business that have left or hone under.
Governance will fuel this movement. NIRPC hopes to disseminate the collective goals and delegate the responsibilities to specialized committees and organizations. A few of these include the Northwest Indiana Economic Development District, Clean Cities, the Land Use committee, and the Ped, Pedal, Paddle Subcommittee. They are currently sourcing citizen participation now so visit their site.