$10 Donation to Help Transform One Underused Public Space–Near North

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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

The Fine Print

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: 1100-1500 N Sedgwick and 400-600 W Division St.

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: 1100-1500 N Sedgwick and 400-600 West Division St.
  • Its Current State: Heavily impacted by the Cabrini Green redevelopment, the neighborhood is now one of the US’s most diverse in terms of income, race, ethnicity, and educational background.
  • The Plan: On August 16, starting at 3:30 p.m., volunteers will host Chalk the Walk, a sidewalk beautification event designed to bring the neighborhood together. Community members can join two to four professional artists in decorating the sidewalks with art and positive messages. If enough money is raised, Chalk the Walk will also include a DJ and food.
  • The Vision: The event will celebrate diversity and help neighbors bridge differences and get to know one another. Organizers hope this will induce a sense of community spirit and inspire future events to help reinvent the Near North Side.
  • The Total Cost: $250–$800

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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