Metropolitan Planning Council

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In a Nutshell

Donations help Chicago-area individuals transform rundown public sites into safe spaces that improve the health of their communities

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100% of the donations will go directly to the participating groups via Metropolitan Planning Council. See Grassroots FAQs that apply to this campaign. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Placemaking: Austin (near Cicero Avenue and Adams Street)

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: 4800 W. Adams
  • The Organization: Although it has been working in Chicago since 1969, it wasn’t until 2012 that BUILD—an organization that works toward violence prevention and youth development—moved its headquarters to Austin. Since then, it has already worked with more than 750 youth, but the more community buy-in it can attain, the more likely it will be to succeed.
  • The Plan: On August 15 from 3 p.m.-6 p.m., BUILD will invite will invite the community to its headquarters for food, music, information about community resources, and activities. Organizers hope to get as many as 50 local youth engaged in basketball while their families play table games and enjoy face painting.
  • The Vision: While building neighborhood camaraderie is certainly a goal of the event, BUILD also hopes to spark engagement around the rising violence and crime. It also aims to partner with at least two local organizations to promote the use of public and outdoor spaces as safe havens for residents.
  • The Total Cost: $1,000

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.

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