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MPC launches Placemaking technical assistance project at 26th and Federal streets on Chicago's Near South Side

MPC is teaming up with Openlands, NeighborSpace, and the Midwest Ecological Landscaping Association (MELA) to transform a vacant lot at 26th and Federal Streets, on Chicago’s near South Side, into a community green space. Through coordination with the Mayor’s Office and Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd Ward), this fall MPC and Openlands will reach out to residents and businesses in the area for input into the design of the space.  MELA and NeighborSpace will then develop a plan for landscaping and ongoing maintenance of it.

The lot provides an exciting opportunity for green space in the neighborhood. Owned by ComEd, it is in close proximity to Williams Multiplex School, the CHA Dearborn Homes, Opera Lofts, and South Loop Hotel. The potential green space runs along the east side of Metra’s Rock Island line, and could provide a valuable green buffer zone for residents and students.

Over the next few months, MPC and Openlands will collect ideas from neighborhood residents and businesses.

A brief survey about the 26th and Federal space is available online.

Residents can participate in an online discussion group about the 26th and Federal space.

There will be a community meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., at the Chicago South Loop Hotel, 11 W. 26th Street, Chicago.

This project is part of MPC’s Placemaking Chicago initiative, aimed at creating and enhancing public spaces around the region by tapping into the innate knowledge residents have about their neighborhoods. To learn more about Placemaking Chicago and join in the fun, please visit the Placemaking Chicago Web site or become a member of the Placemaking Chicago group on the Placemaking Movement, an international online Placemaking network site.

In 2009, MPC also led a Placemaking Chicago technical assistance project at the Polish Triangle in Wicker Park. Read more about the community outreach for the Polish Triangle.  MPC is currently working with a steering committee to implement some of the resident’s great ideas.

For more information on MPC’s Placemaking initiative, please contact Karin Sommer at or 312-863-6044.

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Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
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Chicago, Ill. 60603
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