Vibrant destinations

That encourage us to learn, interact, and play

Little Black Pearl

Little Black Pearl in Bronzeville

Space in Between, MPC's 2012 Placemaking contest, attracted 46 nominations of creative, temporary transformations of vacant space in metropolitan Chicago, Gary and Milwaukee. Climb, Jump, Leap and Imagine!, a playground in Roseland, and Metcalfe Park, a community space in Milwaukee, were selected as grand Prize and Runner-up winners, respectively. Altgeld Sawyer Corner Garden won the People's Choice Award.

With support from IBM in 2011, MPC sponsored a contest for a Placemaking mobile app, through the Apps for Metro Chicago-Illinois competition. The winner was Mi Parque, a bilingual web and smartphone application that allows residents of Chicago's Little Village neighborhood to contribute and share their vision for the future of a new 23-acre park. The app was created by a team of all-female developers, led by Pallavi Anderson from Motorola Solutions and Mindy Faber from Open Youth Networks at Columbia College Chicago, who donated their $2,500 in prize money back to Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, the community group creating the park.

In conjunction with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's Local Technical Assistance program, MPC advised the Bronzeville Alliance on crafting a Retail Corridor Plan that incorporates transit-oriented development on 47th Street in Chicago. This focused retail corridor strategy was one of the recommendations to emerge from Reconnecting Neighborhoods, an MPC-led community planning initiative conducted in three mixed-income Plan for Transformation neighborhoods on the Mid-South, West and Near North sides of Chicago. CMAP's plan builds on MPC's 2012 report Developing Vibrant Retail in Bronzeville.

MPC's goals include incorporating green infrastructure, expanding and improving access to quality transit, and creating more walkable and bikeable communities.

MPC is supporting the City of Chicago in planning for the location of a new high-speed rail station in downtown Chicago, by convening and managing the Chicago Union Station Civic Advisory Committee. The committee is addressing the station's impact on the goals of the entire central area, including expansion of the commercial, residential and retail sectors, Placemaking, and sound urban design around the station. MPC's goals include incorporating green infrastructure, expanding and improving access to quality transit, and creating more walkable and bikeable streets.

Urban Exchange event

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson with Duluth, Minn. Mayor Don Ness at an Urban Exchange event.

In 2011 and 2012, MPC organized a series of Urban Exchanges featuring the mayors of Youngstown, Ohio, and Duluth, Minn., and private sector leaders from Pittsburgh, Pa., so that local and national leaders could share best practices for revitalization, cultivate partnerships, and draw more national attention to Gary and Northwest Indiana. MPC also convened the City of Gary and eight Region V federal agencies to coordinate an investment strategy.

As the Woodlawn community begins to organize around four pillars of a successful community—quality schools, safe communities, community development, and responsive services—MPC has facilitated a series of community discussions for the Network of Woodlawn to help direct its future work.

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Helping create competitive, equitable, and sustainable communities

For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area's toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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