Revitalizing Public Spaces for Conversation, Creativity and Play

How 5 community spaces in Chicago are gaining new life: playgrounds, public art, urban farms + more Tweet This

Share this article Tweet about this on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Email this to someone

Community spaces reflect the heritage and culture of our neighborhoods, and often define how those outside view the places we live. They give us a sense of involvement and investment, and for many provide a means to appreciate the concepts of ownership and collective responsibility.

These key tenets inspired several of the dynamic Chicagoans who will bring their creative ideas to life thanks their Acting Up awards. Join us in celebrating the award winners who are working toward improving Chicago’s community spaces:

El Paseo Community Gardens Bench Murals

El Paseo Community Gardens and ElevArte will create beautiful and culturally relevant art by adding custom-designed benches to the multi-purpose path that borders their garden. Inspired by themes of health, nature, Mexican culture and gardening, these public artworks will create a beautiful shared space space that can inspire conversation and connections.


Conversation Starters in Albany Park

This award will bring together one of Chicago’s most diverse neighborhoods to design new public spaces that reflect that distinctive local character. The Territory design program is partnering with the North River Commission to help local students lead two workshops with local residents to envision what they want their community to look like in the future, and then act on that to create designs for new public spaces.


Livin’ Large Lots for Youth

Livin’ Large Lots for Youth looks to take advantage of Chicago’s Large Lot Program that sells city-owned land to local residents for $1 per parcel as part of neighborhood stabilization initiatives. With their Acting Up award, they hope to make 1,000 West Side lots available for local improvement, with a focus on self-sustaining garden projects that young people in the neighborhood will run and eventually own outright.


United For a New Playground

Volunteers in Hermosa are working together at Nixon Elementary to improve the school’s playground. They have already raised the funds needed for new equipment, and recruited 200 volunteers for the project—and now, thanks to their award, they’ll be able to provide food for the people giving their time and energy on the project’s work days.


Urban Gardens + Bicycling = Healthy Living!!!

The Girls Bike Club at West Town Bikes in Humboldt Park works every Wednesday afternoon with children at the nearby El Coqui and Monarch Community Gardens. Their healthy living program is teaching the neighborhood’s girls how to raise their own food to eat and share, and creating new community bonds.

The Trust and Goodcity Chicago are so honored to be a part of each piece of the puzzle that makes our neighborhoods better, one idea at a time.