Share your ideas for Chicago's Plan for Transformation 2.0
MPC Research Assistant José Ilarraza-Boyed authored this post.
In Chicago, the ambitious Plan for Transformation has been underway since 2000 to redevelop the nation's second-largest public housing system. Now, with 85 percent of new homes have been constructed—and new leadership at Chicago Housing Authority (CHA)—the plan is setting sail in a new direction. Although a 100 percent completion rate for new homes is still the goal, completion in the truest sense—neighborhood completion— requires ideas for transportation, business, schools, recreation, etc. And that's why the CHA and Plan for Transformation needs to hear your voice!
The Plan for Transformation started in 2000 as an effort to change the way public housing is approached in Chicago. Since, it has become the blueprint for the future of public housing in United States. Before the implementation of the plan, Chicago's under-privileged were stacked within high rise buildings and disconnected from the social fabric and physical connections to the community that make Chicago great.
Today, those same concrete towers that stood tall over the superblocks of the city's poorest neighborhoods have been taken down. The former residents that called those projects home are now reattached to communities all across the greater Chicago area. The bleak buildings that were notorious eye sores and havens for our worst problems are finally disappearing. Change has come. However, the end has not yet arrived, and there is work to still be done.
The Chicago Housing Authority has now opened the doors of community centers and town halls all across the city in hopes of getting the public involved with creation of Plan for Transformation 2.0. The same type of crowd-sourcing that was used to harvest a 2012 city budget is now being applied toward the shiny, new plan. Not only is CHA setting up public forums in a neighborhood near you, CHA is also tapping into the information highway with a web page designed to collect all of the public's ideas.
All great realities were once great ideas, so it is important to think big and share the brilliant ideas that we all have with an organization that can make those abstract ideas into physical reality. Though CHA wants to construct great public housing, CHA is not a retail developer or school administrator. The call-to-action extends to all facets of public and private domain to make these ideas reality.
Metropolitan Planning Council has blazed such trails through the Reconnecting Neighborhoods project, which is working to improve transportation, infrastructure, and retail availability in three of the communities redeveloped by the Plan for Transformation. Through public meetings and local task forces, and by tapping expertise from national and regional sources, Reconnecting Neighborhoods has shown that new communities thrive only with the addition of new homes, but also with focused investment in all of the things that add up to healthy neighborhoods. For instance, in the Mid-South, MPC and community partners are putting the finishing touches on a retail development plan for Bronzeville, to create vibrant shopping districts—and jobs—in the community. Now, the same must be done across the city with Plan for Transformation 2.0.
Let's make our ideas reality! Visit www.TheCHA.ideascale.com!