Placemaking: Calumet Heights (near 86th Street and Colfax 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: An empty lot near E. 86th St. and S. Colfax Ave., in the middle of a low-traffic residential area.
- Its Current State: A patchy stretch of grass surrounded by cracked, overgrown sidewalks on two sides and houses on the other two.
- The Plan: On August 16 at 10 a.m., volunteers will build a permanent sandbox and children’s play area, with an accompanying area for adults, to create a safe and welcoming refuge for the community. The children will then decorate the area to make it their own.
- The Vision: By establishing a beautiful space for the community to gather, this activation aims to leave a symbol of positive change and inspire locals to take charge of their neighborhood.
- The Total Cost: $3,300
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.