City of Aurora Economic Development

Economic Development

Mission Statement

To promote, attract, and retain commercial and industrial development in the City of Aurora. In doing so, serve to enhance the quality of life for Aurora citizens by creating quality jobs, increasing assessed valuation, and attracting property tax, sales tax, and other revenue generators to the community.
The City of Aurora, Illinois is located 40 miles west of Chicago, Illinois, and is currently the second largest city in the State of Illinois with an estimated population of 188,000. It has been one of the Midwest’s fastest growing cities for the past 10 years, and in 2008-ranked 74th by Money Magazine as one of the “Best Places To Live“ in the United States.
A diversified city with a balanced combination of industrial, high-technology, retail, service, and agricultural enterprise and cultural activity, Aurora is located in four counties: Kane, Kendall, Will and DuPage.
Aurora Economic Development Commission
43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60506

David Dorgan, Downtown Development Consultant

David Dorgan does a great job with the economic redevelopment of downtown Aurora Illinois.  He also did an outstanding job with Elgin, Tinley Park, Richton Park, and Canton, Illinois.  He is one of the most accomplished city managers and economic developers that I have worked with over the years. 

Caterpillar may build new U.S. excavator plant

Caterpillar may build new U.S. excavator plant


Cat Excavator

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Posted Mar 11, 2010 @ 10:40 AM
Last update Mar 11, 2010 @ 09:12 PM
Caterpillar Inc. announced Thursday it may build a new hydraulic excavator plant in the United States, which could increase the company's excavator employment base in this country.
However, the company did not say what areas of the country it is considering for a new plant that could employ 500 or so.
Caterpillar said it has started to study, as part of its long-term strategic initiative, whether shifting some excavator production from Japan to the United States would best serve its future needs.

Full story Below:

Professor Greg Mankews Blog - Interesting and Well Written

Interesting and well written blog about economics by Professor Greg Mankews of Harvard. In his blog he shows how when you are poor the transition from supports to earnings can cause your income to drop - not exactly the way we should structure our assistance to the poor.

The Poverty Trap

Full Blog Entry here

Fantastic Journey Into Space

Fantastic journey in both directions. Into the very large and the very small. This does not have much to do with economic development, other then that it puts things into perspective.

Click View on the Power Point Below
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Blogs, Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter

Using Blogs, Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter to market your service, government, or company can be effective.  These programs are free, and easy to use.

Click on the link below for more information.

Planning Articles

Most of the Articles in this Blog have been published in the Illinois Municipal Review Magazine. Feel free to use the copyrighted information in the articles - just give us your undying gratitude.

Contact Craig Hullinger at or Chuck Eckenstahler at or Beth Ruyle at

Read the Articles on the Illinois Municipal Web Page at

Illinois Municipal Review Magazine, "DO YOU HAVE A SMART GROWTH PLAN?", January 2001. With Larry McClellan

Illinois Municipal Review Magazine, "SMART GROWTH - IT'S MORE THAN AGRICULTURAL PRESERVATION AND URBAN SPRAWL", August 2000. With Beth Ruyle

Illinois Municipal Review Magazine, "IS IT TIME TO UPDATE YOUR ZONING ORDINANCE?", March 2000.

Bar Briefs Kane County Bar Association, "POSITION YOUR PROJECT FOR QUICK MUNICIPAL APPROVAL, February 2001.

Illinois Municipal Review Magazine, "APPROVE THIS REZONING - IT'S THE HIGHEST AND BEST USE", February 2000.

Illinois Municipal Review Magazine, "POSITION YOURSELF FOR MEDIA EXPOSURE", October 1999.


Illinois Municipal Review Magazine, "ALIGNING INTERSTATE ROAD INTERESTS, August 2000.

Illinois Municipal Review Magazine, "YOU CAN'T DO THAT - IT'S SPOT ZONING", May 1999.

Illinois Municipal Review Magazine, "DOES COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING WORK?", March 1999.

Illinois Municipal Rev Magazine, "DEFINING ACCESSORY USES - A THREE STEP WORK SHEET", February 1999.


Illinois Municipal Review Magazine, "ZONING LITIGATION - COMMON SENSE RULES TO REDUCE VULNERABILITY", November 1997.

With Dianne Gormely-Barnes AICP

New Geography On Line Journal

New Geography is an interesting on line journal.

Interesting Scoop From Planetizen

March 18 2010 Edition: A Service of Planetizen - The Planning, Design & Development Network
Freeways Responsible For Emptying Out Cities
A recent study shows that for every significant freeway that gets built in a major city, population declines by about 18%. Nathaniel Baum-Snow, author of the study, talks with Planetizen.

Read Full Story:

Recent Interchange Posts

Recent columns and commentaries from Interchange, Planetizen's blog written by experts in the field.

Samuel Staley
Conventional Planning May Be Contributing to Cleveland's Decline
Mar 16, 2010

Nate Berg
Inside the City of RVs
Mar 15, 2010

Todd Litman
Parking Policy Reform More Important Than LEED Certification
Mar 15, 2010

News Headlines

The 20 most popular headlines from the last three days.

"Real Simple" Cities That Save Time
Mar 15, 2010 -- Real Simple
Real Simple magazine offers its survey of America's top "time saving" cities, or those that make getting around and getting things done as easy (and green) as possible.

Ghetto-ization: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Density
Mar 15, 2010 -- myurbanist
At first glance, the historic Ghetto streetscene in Venice is an appealing new urbanist community. In another place at another time, the virtues of compact, walkable and dense were the very isolation we now abhor.

The Town That Lives Online Only
Mar 15, 2010 -- The New York Times
Elgin Park is a small city that doesn't exist. But online, through a series of photographs created from tiny models in the house of one Massachusetts man, the time-frozen industrial town of the mid-'60s has come to life.

Woonerfs Are Coming
Mar 16, 2010 -- The Toronto Star
"Woonerf" is a Dutch word for streets that mix cars and people, but with pedestrians as the dominant mode. Toronto planners are using the concept in their plans for the West Don Lands neighborhood.

'Sea-Change' Coming To Transportation Planning
Mar 16, 2010 -- League of American Bicyclists
That's what Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood wrote in his blog after attending the League of Bicyclist's 10th Anniversary Summit, March 9-11 in D.C. And he means it - as reflected in the DOT's Policy Statement on bike and ped accommodations.

Green Features Aren't Selling Houses
Mar 15, 2010 -- CNN Money
Green housing features like solar roofs and angled walls add cost to a development, and lenders don't see added value. So as CNN reports, green housing currently faces a stiff market. 

L.A. Transit: Up a Hill and Out to the Sea
Mar 16, 2010 -- True/Slant
The historic Angel's Flight funicular reopened yesterday, as Mayor Villaraigosa announces his vision to transform Los Angeles' transit system in 10 years. 

Remixing Architecture, Without Breaking the Rules
Mar 16, 2010 -- The Philadelphia Inquirer
Architecture critic Inga Saffron takes a look at what she thinks is "the most innovative take on the traditional rowhouse that Philadelphia has seen in years." Saffron remarks on how the building obeys the rules and innovates at the same time. 

Three High Speed Rail Lines Announced in UK
Mar 15, 2010 -- The Mirror
The three new high speed rail lines are being called the biggest advancement of the United Kingdom's public transit system in more than 50 years.

Charting Public Data Via Google
Mar 15, 2010 -- Los Angeles Times
Google has launched a new experimental effort to visualize much of the public data it now searches and displays. 

Why do People Choose to Ride Transit?
Mar 17, 2010 -- Psystenance
Do certain kinds of people - students, elderly, environmentalists - choose to ride transit because of who they are? Or does the proper infrastructure make the difference?

Density Uber Alles
Mar 16, 2010 -- The Architect's Newspaper
Is density a goal unto itself? John Parman argues that a 38-story building proposed for San Francisco has little to do with walkable urbanism, and continues "a sorry tradition of case-by-case rezoning."

How Prisoners Skew the Census
Mar 15, 2010 -- Citiwire
At Census time, America's prisoners have typically been counted as residents of the places they are imprisoned. But with nearly 1% of the U.S. population behind bars, where they're counted is counting more to the urban areas they came from.

Is GDP A Good Indicator of Well-Being?
Mar 15, 2010 -- The Globe and Mail
The Indian state of Kerala has earned an international reputation for its outstanding achievements in social planning. While its GDP typical for India, its social indicators rival many developed countries. 

TIGER Grants May Take Transit Off Endangered List
Mar 16, 2010 -- New Urban News
Less money for highways, more for transit and "complete streets" - New Urban News takes a look at where the $1.5 billion TIGER grants are going. 

WalMart Purchase Thwarted, Family Sues City of Rezoning - And Wins
Mar 17, 2010 -- The Saginaw News
WalMart made an offer to purchase a plot from a family in Frankenmuth, Michigan, but withdrew the offer when the City Council rezoned the land for a limited building size. The family sued, and a federal judge awarded them $3.6 million. 

The Fleeting American Dream
Mar 17, 2010 -- The Atlantic
The American Dream is a concept that's had a rough go for the past few years. A new survey shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans don't think that dream can become reality.

South African World Cup Stadium Costs Highlight Neighboring Poverty
Mar 15, 2010 -- The New York Times
The costs of a new stadium built for this year's World Cup in Nelspruit, South Africa have heightened tensions between the city's poor and its leading officials.

High Speed Rail from London to Scotland Planned
Mar 16, 2010 -- BBC News
Take a virtual (5-minute) trip on the 250 mph proposed train from London to Glasgow. All political parties agree on the need for what Secretary of State, Andrew Adonis, terms '21st century transport revolution', but the routing is less certain.

Redevelopment Agencies Circle the Wagons, Fight for Funding
Mar 15, 2010 -- California Planning & Development Report
Redevelopment agencies, lead by the CRA, are planning their strategy for how to keep their local redevelopment funding from the state. CP&DR blogs and tweets from the California Redevelopment Association conference. 

Global Economic Forecast

Enterprise Florida and The Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County Present
Global Economic Forecast 
March 16, 2010
8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 
State College of Florida-Lakewood Ranch
7131 Professional Parkway

registration required: $15 per person, includes light breakfast
Attend this forecast to learn:

When the global economic downturn is going to end 
When economic activity will return to "normal"
What growth opportunities exist overseas 
About the state's export stimulus programs
Export opportunities: What's hot and what's not
How you can position your company to benefit and come out on top

The event will feature presentations by:
 Manny Mencia, Senior Vice President, International Trade and
     Business development, Enterprise Florida

Z. Joe Kulenovic, Senior Director, Strategic and Market Analysis,
    Enterprise Florida

 Dr. Graham Toft, Growth Economics, Inc.

Sponsors of the event include Enterprise FloridaSunTrust BankDistrict Export Council and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Questions? Contact Mireya Eavey  at (941) 309-1200 ext. 105.

Lots of great scoop at Planetizen.

And the price is right - free.

How Trying Too Hard Messes Up Main Street
Why do Main St. redevelopments get it wrong so much of the time? Scott Doyon of Placemakers says there is a ton of environmental behavior research that is going unheeded, and developers need to stop trying so hard and let individual expression flourish.

Read Full Story:

Recent Interchange Posts

Recent columns and commentaries from Interchange, Planetizen's blog written by experts in the field.

Michael Lewyn
Sprawl In Canada and the U.S.: A Comparison
Mar 8, 2010

News Headlines

The 20 most popular headlines from the last three days.

Can Urban Design Alleviate the Need for Cops?
Mar 8, 2010 -- Examiner
A look at public space as a "community living room" and the role of police within the context of Los Angeles.

Urbanites Make the Case for Goats as Pets
Mar 9, 2010 -- USA Today
The don't bite. They don't need much space. They follow kids around like a dog. We're talking about miniature goats. Planning commissions across the country are being asked to moved the hooved animals into the "pet" category. 

Town Futures in Photoshop
Mar 8, 2010 --
A picture's worth a thousand plans - at least when it's a "photo-realistic visualization." Designer Steve Price's detailed 3D flash animations show towns what empty streetscapes and drab buildings could look like with a little bit of planning.

Notable Architecture to Watch in 2010
Mar 9, 2010 -- Business Week
This piece from Business Week lists the most anticipated architecture projects to watch in 2010.

Infrastructure Spending, Policy Benefit Suburbs and Not Cities
Mar 9, 2010 -- The Boston Globe
Harvard economics professor Edward L. Glaeser argues that the United States has a long, pervasive pattern of anti-urban behavior that needs to change. 

Harvard Report: Gas Taxes Not Vehicle Credits Necessary To Reduce Emissions
Mar 8, 2010 -- The New York Times - Science
$7 gas is necessary according to a new report if transportation emissions are to be reduced to EPA targets by 2020. What's more, providing tax credits for electric and hybrid vehicles would backfire. The report recommends steep gas tax increases.

A Bust to Follow China's Building Boom?
Mar 9, 2010 -- Business Week
The economic stimulus of China has focused billions of dollars on building skyscrapers. Some wonder whether a building bust may soon follow.

The Art of Wayfinding
Mar 8, 2010 --
Slate looks at the history and importance of signage and wayfinding design. 

Learning From Philadelphia's Transit System Improvements
Mar 8, 2010 -- The Toronto Star
The city of Toronto's public transit system has been plagued by dysfunctional service and rider complaints. Officials are looking to Philadelphia for lessons on improving their troubled system.

OP-ED: Make "High-Speed" Rail Speedier
Mar 9, 2010 -- The New York Times - Opinion
Train writer Christian Wolmar argues that the best application for high speed rail funds would be to upgrade the Washington D.C. to Boston, 150 mph Acela line to true, high speed rail status and used as a showcase for American rail technology.

Las Vegas Land Worth 75% Less Than 2007 Peak
Mar 9, 2010 -- Las Vegas Review-Journal
About half of commercial mortgage defaults in Las Vegas last year were for vacant land. With loans impossible to get and construction at a halt, vacant land is a hard sell. 

Plan to Daylight Creek in Downtown Berkeley Hits Roadblock
Mar 9, 2010 -- East Bay Express
Berkeley's popular plan to turn a section of Center Street into a pedestrian walkway with a stream and wetlands has been slowed by the fight over downtown development.

Turning Cities into Innovation Centers
Mar 8, 2010 -- Business Week
Saul Kaplan says cities should be transformed into innovation centers to stay competitive and become the venue of a "new economic conversation".

Container Housing Approved to Aid Haitians
Mar 8, 2010 -- Inhabitat
Officials in the Dominican Republic have approved the creation of cities made of home built out of shipping containers -- part of efforts to aid earthquake-rattled Haiti.

Boston Neighborhood Transforms Church into Housing
Mar 9, 2010 -- WBUR - Boston public radio
How grassroots organizers beat out commercial bidders, and overcame zoning hurdles to redevelop Catholic church into affordable housing.

When's the Next Subway? Look Up. 
Mar 8, 2010 -- The New York Times
Electronic next train signage has come to the New York Subway. Three experimental systems are currently being tested throughout the system, but locals say the kinks are still clearly being worked out. 

How New York City Crafted its 34th Street Busway
Mar 8, 2010 -- the transport politic
The Transport Politic details the City of New York's plans for a citywide busway on 34th Street.

Billboards: Blight, or Right?
Mar 9, 2010 -- Arkinet
Are billboards visual pollution, or valuable information source? Sao Paolo, Brazil banned billboards in the city in 2007 and is an interesting case study. 

The Inside Story of Sign Design
Mar 10, 2010 -- Slate
Slate continues its series on wayfinding with the little-known story of the symbolic conflicts among the U.S., the former Soviet Union and Japan over how to direct people in a time of crisis. 

Inchvesting in Detroit
Mar 10, 2010 -- NPR
$1 will buy you one square inch of a vacant lot in Detroit, and membership in Jerry Paffendorf's club of "inchvestors." It may sound like a scheme, but Paffendorf calls it a way to network, invest in Detroit, and attract entrepreneurs.