Research Studies

Jo Daviess County Workforce Housing Needs Assessment Study

(Expected summer/fall 2022)

Jo Daviess County Water Resource Management Plan & updated Workbook

(Expected summer/fall 2022)

Northern Illinois Food Systems Network Study 2022

While Northern Illinois is rich in agriculture and is home to the largest consumer market in the Midwest, little of the food consumed in the region is grown in the region. This time of disruption and change within food systems nationwide is an opportune moment to plan for a stronger northern Illinois food systems network. This study is a step in the planning process and was funded by the Chicago Region Food System Fund and the Illinois Farm Bureau, two organizations supporting Illinois agriculture and access to fresh foods for Illinois residents. The study was conducted by the Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies (NIU-CGS) in collaboration with DeKalb County Community Gardens. 

Geographically, this study focuses on the following nine counties in northern Illinois: Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Winnebago, and Whiteside.
Executive Summary
Study Plan
 

Passenger Rail Extension Feasibility Study

In 2022 the East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA) completed a feasibility analysis for implementation of competitive intercity passenger rail service between Chicago, Illinois and Dubuque, Iowa as a potential way to meet the evolving transportation needs of eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois including growing urbanization; changes in traditional employment sectors; a surge in personal travel; an expanded global economy; increasing construction, maintenance, and fuel costs; and climate change awareness. The proposed service would support regional goals such as providing reliable and convenient alternative transportation options, reducing highway congestion and associated emissions, facilitating economic growth, catalyzing development and improving access between communities, and promoting connectivity with other transportation modes.

Bi-State Freight Study

In 2018 Blackhawk Hills and Regional Council (BHRC) and East Central Intergovernmental Association's (ECIA) completed the bi-state freight study to provide updated data for supply chain and freight needs.