Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development

Books & Monographs

We list the newest books and publications first, followed by older publications. For assistance, you can contact us at or 312.362.5731.

Beyond Burnham: An Illustrated History of Planning for the Chicago Region

By Joseph P. Schwieterman and Alan P. Mammoser, Edited by John A Schuler, Lake Forest Press, 2009

This lushly illustrated book provides a fascinating account of a century of visionary planning for metropolitan Chicago.  From Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett's famed 1909 Plan of Chicago to the push for superhighways and airports to battles over urban sprawl, the book showcases an illustrated portrait of the big personalities and the "big plans" they espoused.

The human face of planning appears in the interplay between public officials and citizen advocates. Powerful institutions-the Chicago Plan Commission and Regional Transportation Authority, among others-emerge to promote metropolitan goals.  Some efforts succeed while others fail, but the work of planners lives on in efforts to shape new visions for the region's future.

The Politics of Place: A History of Zoning In Chicago

By Joseph P. Schwieterman and Dana Caspall Edited by Jane Heron, Lake Claremont Press, 2006   

The Politics of Place: A History of Zoning in Chicago reviews the interplay among development, planning, and zoning in the growth of the Gold Coast, the Central Area, and, more recently, massive "Planned Developments," such as Marina City, Illinois Center, and Dearborn Park. It tells the story of bold visions compromised by political realities, battles between residents and developers, and occasional misfires from City Council and City Hall.

What emerges is a fascinating, behind-the-scenes inspection of the evolving character of the city’s landscape. Schwieterman and Caspall recount the many planning innovations that have originated in Chicago, the complexities and intrigue of its zoning debates, and the recent adoption of a new zoning ordinance that promises to affect the city’s economy and image for years to come.

"Only in Chicago can zoning be epic. From the nuisance laws of the 19th century targeting Chicago’s notorious filth to its cutting-edge new code, this meticulously researched book chronicles the use of zoning as both handmaiden for the just and tool for the self-serving. City planners and urban historians will delight in the colorful tale of how a city’s backbone—and zoning is indeed Chicago’s backbone—supports its broad shoulders."

—Michael Davidson, Editor, Zoning Practice, American Planning Association 

Land Use Inventories: Practical Alternatives for Municipal Governments in Metopolitan Chicago

By Eileen Figel, AICP, and Joseph Schwieterman, PhD.

This paper explores the status of municipal efforts to obtain and use land-use data in metropolitan Chicago.  The manuscript is the product of discussions with 30 planners and geographic information system coordinators, a focus group, and a review of data collected by private publishing company.  It seeks to begin a discussion about data needs and explore the options available to communities.

One of the primary goals of the paper is to draw attention to the wide range of alternatives available to municipalities, many of which can enhance the quality of data with only a modest expenditure of funds.  Another goal is to offer perspective on the strides the region is making to more fully integrate information that is now available.

Abandoned Corridors: A Historical Assessment

By Joseph P. Schwieterman, Railroad History, Issue 185, 2002.

Abandoned Corridors A Historical Assessment

 A descriptive account of the Institute’s rail line abandonment project, which involved the creation of a data base will 3,000 American communities without rail service. The article also reviews notable intercity corridors that no longer have direct rail lines and evaluates the relative amount of traffic moving over these routes to draw inferences about the potential benefits of preserving abandoned railroad rights-of-way. Illustrated with more than a dozen photographs of notable abandoned corridors.

This volume (135 pages) also includes featured articles on railroad deregulation by George W. Hilton and James W. McClellan

A Compendium of Municipal Population and Land Area Information: The Chicago Metropolitan Area, 1850– 2000

By James Licklider and Bradley Roback, Chaddick Institute, 2002

This important reference manual contains available data about housing, population, land area, and dates of incorporation for municipalities in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties. It provides the official census population of each of 268 municipalities in decade-by-decade increments since their date of incorporation and land area, transportation, and housing statistics for each community reporting this data since 1950. The authors also review salient changes to the region over the past 150 years through exhibits, tables, and brief commentaries. They use estimates of the approximate distances from the geographic center of each municipality to expressway interchanges and commuter-rail stations at various points in time in order to make inferences about regional mobility. An Excel data disk is available free upon request with purchase direct from our office.

Private Opinions: Professional Views on the Privatization of Public Transit Services in Metropolitan Chicago

By Kathrine L. Keledjian, Chaddick Institute

An engaging look at the opinions of four transportation experts about the benefits and costs of privatizing public transit services in metropolitan Chicago. Private Opinions provides a fresh look at the potential to improve our regional rail and bus transportation system by fostering competitive bidding. Includes in-depth interviews with Thomas McCracken, Jr. (Regional Transportation Authority), Anthony Pagano, Ph.D. (Univ. of Illinois, Chicago), Mary Sue Barrett (Metropolitan Planning Council), and Wendell Cox (consultant).

Shaping Contemporary Suburbia: Perspectives on Development Control in Metropolitan Chicago

By Joseph P. Schwieterman and Martin E. Toth
Law Bulletin Publishing, 2001

Shaping Contemporary Suburbia explores municipal policies that pose fascinating and far-reaching consequences for the regional quality of life in Metropolitan Chicago. It considers the efforts of village and city governments to improve the attractiveness of retail strips, the appearance of signs and billboards, the operation of home-based businesses, the quality of day-care centers, the "sustainability" of development, and other critical areas of suburban governance. Schwieterman and Toth synthesize the results of more than five years of research and programming at the Chaddick Institute. Using maps, photographs, and geographic analysis, they offer practical insights about issues that touch the lives of millions of residents

When the Railroad Leaves Town: American Communities in the Age of Rail Line Abandonment

By Joseph P. Schwieterman
Truman State University Press, 2001

Professor Schwieterman’s widely circulated volume on the legacy of bygone rail lines in the eastern half of the United States. A colorful look at railroad abandonment. More than 2,000 sold

Voices from the Past Visions for the Future: A Modern Assessment of Harry F. Chaddick’s Planning Ideas for Chicago

By Martin E. Toth, Chaddick Institute, 2000

A perfect introduction to important urban-planning issues facing Chicago. This book examines critical issues facing Chicago ranging from brownfield cleanup to parking shortages, rail transportation, flood prevention, and the creation of parks. It weighs the progress—or, in some cases, lack of progress—that has been made on issues Chaddick considered essential to the betterment of our regional community. In reviewing notable successes and failures in Chicago’s efforts to facilitate effective planning, salient lessons emerge from Chaddick’s vision for the future.

Alternatives to the Whistle: The Role of Public Education and Enforcement in Promoting Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety in Metropolitan Chicago

This study, prepared at the request of Senator Dick Durbin, offers perspective on the role of public education and enforcement in promoting highway-rail grade crossing safety in Metropolitan Chicago. It evaluates the probable social costs of noise generated by locomotive horns from the implication of a proposed new federal standard on railroad horns as well as the status of current enforcement efforts. Click here for the study. (PDF)