Placemaking: Blue Island (near 119th Street and Vincennes Avenue)
As part of the Metropolitan Planning Council’s 2014 Placemaking Challenge, volunteers will spend one weekend in August transforming and renovating underused spaces in their communities. Every $10 donation made through this page will help volunteers complete the following project.
- The Site: The 119th Street “Welcome Berm,” a community landmark located at the city’s northern-most boundary, adjacent to a Metra rail station.
- Its Current State: Though this grassy space is generally well-maintained, it doesn’t offer any activities or reasons for passersby or Metra riders to stop.
- The Plan: Before mid-August, greenspace improvements are anticipated to improve the space and make it more usable. On August 16, volunteers will publicly unveil these improvements and host a series of small-scale activities to create art, seating, and other previously suggested use options.
- The Vision: This activation hopes to not only attract more visitors and celebrate the heritage and industry of Blue Island, but to build a base of volunteers to provide long-term support.
- The Total Cost: $1
Metropolitan Planning Council’s 2014 Placemaking Challenge
If Chicagoland were a machine, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) would be the engineer ensuring its smooth operation. Through partnerships with businesses, communities, and governments, the MPC has worked to make Chicago a more prosperous place to live since 1934. Adhering to a philosophy of interconnectedness, the planners and developers behind the MPC understand that everything from transportation networks to public housing to the workforce fueling the economy must work together to keep the city healthy.
This summer, MPC is embarking on a quest to motivate Chicago-based individuals and community groups to activate and transform public spaces through the 2014 Placemaking Challenge. After equipping people with the necessary information and inspiration to transform underused neighborhood spots, the Placemaking challenge empowers them to make an impact. With the assistance of the community, participants will design and implement their Placemaking intervention of choice—whether transforming a trash-covered lot into a garden or adding allure to a dull retail strip—during the weekend of August 15–17.
Participants also have an opportunity to win one of four $1,000 prizes—including a Groupon Love Local Award sponsored by Groupon Grassroots—to fuel their efforts. By simply sharing and promoting their work in the neighborhood and Placemaking stories through the MPC website, participants are eligible for a prize. After a public vote and determination from MPC’s judges, winners will be selected, and all participants will celebrate at a September event.