Placemaking: Austin (near Division and Long 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: 5400 W. Division Street
- Its Current State: The lot sits unused, covered in dirt, weeds, and garbage, in an area plagued by drugs and violence.
- The Plan: Starting on August 15 at 3 p.m., a team of local youth will lead the community in transforming the lot into a permanent marketplace. By beautifying the space, they hope to create a symbol for positive change and discourage violence.
- The Vision: This activation aims to establish a forum for commerce, promote entrepreneurship and economic justice, and encourage social equality. The youth also envision it serving as a meeting place for neighbors and a recreation zone for local children.
- The Total Cost: $5,000
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.