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June 2010 Blog posts

What's your favorite CTA, Metra or South Shore stop?

Before I joined MPC in 2004, I worked full-time as a journalist. As a j-school student, one of my class projects was to write about every stop on the Red Line. Each of us chose a stop and found a nearby story to share with our fellow students. That experience stayed with me: On the rare weekend when my husband and I don't have plans, we like to ride the El or bus to a new neighborhood. We've even taken the South Shore to Michigan City, Ind., and the Metra to Geneva. That's why I love this new interactive Train Stop Guide from the blog Carfree Chicago. The guide allows you to rate your favorite train stop. What's the best stop to get off at for shopping? Where do hop off for your favorite restaurants or to enjoy a day at the beach or park? What's the best stop to live near? The guide…

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City staff discuss great public spaces with MPC

DZLUP and DCD staff explore Pritzker Park

Last week, the people behind some of the city’s most well-used public places gathered at MPC to discuss what makes public spaces work. Representatives from Chicago’s Dept. of Zoning and Land Use Planning (DZLUP) and Dept. of Community Development (DCD) shared their thoughts on some of the city’s current places, what makes these spaces successful, and how they can work together to create future public spaces that are vibrant and well-used. The half-day discussion, hosted by MPC as part of its Placemaking Chicago initiative, included a field trip to Pritzker Park at State Street and Van Buren Street to see how people are using the space – and what perhaps could be done to make the space more inviting to pedestrians. Melissa Flynn from the Lincoln Square Chamber of…

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New contest to select artists for 12 public murals & $5,500 stipend

Atelier Teee, Chicago

This post was written by John Mitchell, MPC Research Assistant Chicago has long been a great muse for public murals. From Mary Cassatt’s murals at the World Columbian Exposition in 1893 to Chagall’s Four Seasons in the Loop and the Southside’s Wall of Respect in 1967, the city has been home to countless iconic murals. In this great community mural tradition, Ald. Joe Moore (49th Ward) has announced a call for Chicago-based artists to submit mural designs as part of his “Mass Underpass Murals Project.” Ald. Moore’s ward encompasses parts of Rogers Park, Edgewater, and West Ridge on Chicago’s Northeast side. Artists have until July 16, 2010 to submit their design application for a mural that will grace one of 12 CTA or Metra underpasses…

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I hate to admit it, but the Hyde Park Shopping Center is my favorite public spot in Chicago

Many of Chicagoland’s most cherished public spaces are tucked away in the hearts of neighborhoods, known only to a lucky few. This summer, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) want to shine a spotlight on these special places across Chicagoland through the “What Makes Your Place Great? Your Secret Corner of Chicagoland” contest. From June 2 through July 26, 2010, entrants can e-mail original photos or videos showcasing their favorite undiscovered public places across Chicagoland, along with a 250-word-or-less description, to The four chosen winners will win a prize package that includes passes to the Brookfield Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, Chicago History Museum, or CAF – and the chance to…

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See Spot! See Spot take public transit!

A few years ago I visited Munich and was impressed with the city’s public train system for its cleanliness, reliability, and efficient ticketing process. But what struck me most was the fact that pets were welcome passengers. Initially I was shocked to see a Great Dane board Munich’s equivalent of the EL and have a seat on the floor next to its owner. But then I started to think, why not? If the dog – or any pet – is well-behaved, up-to-date on vaccinations, and the owner pays for them to ride, it makes sense, especially for those of us who are pet owners in the city. I know it would make getting to the veterinarian, visiting family, or stopping by the “dog wash” much easier and cost-effective if I could take Hank, my Labrador Retriever, on the CTA or…

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