RainReady Calumet Corridor, IL Plan

This plan outlines a vision for stormwater management, sustainable economic development, and integrated planning to enhance resilience within the Calumet Corridor in Cook County, Illinois (20 miles south of Chicago). This area experienced a severe rain and wind storm in April 2013 resulting in urban flooding and widespread property damage. The region’s flat, low-lying topography, historical patterns of land development that covered natural land with impervious surfaces, the changing climate, and aging infrastructure all contribute to the Corridor’s vulnerability to future flooding.  The plan applies a solution designed by RainReady, which involves repairing and modernizing infrastructure, retrofitting landscapes to absorb more water, and reorienting day-to-day operations and long term planning towards resilience.

This document outlines the RainReady approach, the 15-month planning process that underpins this plan, and the proposed strategies. It also details flooding issues in the Calumet Corridor and in urban areas more generally, and describes the historical and regional context of the area.  

The second part of the document provides more specific plans for the six communities in the Calumet Corridor (Villages of Robbins, Calumet Park, Riverdale, and Dolton, City of Blue Island, and Calumet City).  For each it provides a profile of the neighborhood, an overview of responses from resident surveys about flood concerns, current projects and development initiatives that are already underway, and an assessment of community strengths and concerns. It then outlines the goals, strategies, and actions that will support flood resilience.

For example, under the “repair” goal section of the Blue Island plan, one of the proposed strategies is to “inspect and evaluate [the] municipal sewer and stormwater drainage system.” For this, it outlines a process for implementing the strategy, an estimate of costs, a project lead, and additional resources needed.

This plan includes a discussion of various financing options for the community in order to increase access to credit and offset initial expenses. It notes that “typical residential flood protection retrofits cost $8,000 per dwelling unit” and that most residents in the Calumet Corridor cannot afford to make such a large investment. After surveying residents, planners found that the average resident is willing to invest $2,210, excluding those who are unwilling or unable to pay at all.

Lists of Federal, State, Local, Regional and Philanthropic Funding and Financing resources communities may use for flood resilience and adaptation are included in Appendix C.  


Publication Date: 2017

Related Organizations:

  • RainReady
  • Center for Neighborhood Technology


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Plans (other)

States Affected:


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