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Can Wisconsin, Illinois & Indiana Think Regionally?

OECD elaboration with data from Census 2000 County and County Equivalent Areas Cartographic Boundary Files, US Census Bureau
The Chicago Region includes counties from three states.

Marquette Law School convenes a conference on Tuesday on ways that Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana can think regionally regarding economic cooperation. 

The conference, Public Attitudes in the Chicago Megacity: Who are we, and what are the possibilities?, will bring government and business leaders to examine public attitudes regarding regional economic cooperation.

Mike Gousha, Distinguished Fellow in Law and Policy at the Marquette Law School, says that this conversation is an important one to have. "What do we want to be? What do we look like? Is there something in this for everyone?," he asks.

Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School Poll, conducted a poll to find out "what does the public think about (regional cooperation). Do we want to compete with one another? Do we want to move companies from one side of the border to the other side? Or, do we see larger regional interests at stake?"

In 2012, the European Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, issued a report on the strengths and weaknesses of the Chicago region. The report found that the the competition of state, city and town governmental units was hindering the region's vitality and development.

"The Chicago region, from Ozaukee Country down through Chicago and into Northwestern Indiana is 11.5 million people. It’s one of the largest regional economies in the world and you know, we’re part of that…,"says Franklin. 

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.