MPC launches its first Placemaking Chicago technical assistance project in Wicker Park - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC launches its first Placemaking Chicago technical assistance project in Wicker Park

MPC continues to move forward with its Placemaking Chicago project by tapping community groups, neighborhood residents, and local governments as resources to make the Polish Triangle a great public space.

MPC continues to move forward with its Placemaking Chicago initiative with its first Placemaking technical assistance project.  For this project, MPC is partnering with WPB, the Wicker Park Bucktown Special Service Area, to improve the Polish Triangle at the intersection ofMilwaukee Avenue, Division Street and Ashland Avenue. A committee of local stakeholders, including the aldermen of the 1st, 27th, and 32nd wards, the retail community, City of Chicago, Chicago Transit Authority, and nearby institutions will gather input from the community about the changes they would like to see at the Triangle.  This input will be used to create a long and short-term vision and management plan for the plaza that represents the community.  WPB and MPC will also implement short-term changes over the next year that will begin to transform the area into a great public place in which the community feels invested.

MPC will lead a total of two technical assistance projects in 2009, the second of which will be determined shortly.  MPC also will be conducting workshops with local government agencies to stress the importance of community input in planning and development projects. These workshops will share information with the agencies about the importance of place and ways in which they can involve the community in their planning processes. Bottom-up planning benefits both residents and planners by developing a discourse between these two groups and creating a sense of ownership of a place by the residents.

These latest actions build on the guidebook created by the partnership between MPC and New York’s Project for Public Spaces, A Guide to Neighborhood Placemaking in Chicago, and the launch of the Placemaking Chicago website,

For additional information, please contact Karin Sommer at (312) 863-6044 or  Please visit for Placemaking resources and inspiring stories about people making a difference in their community.


  1. 1. Jens Jensen from Chicago, IL on February 2, 2009

    I live in this neighborhood and would like to be aware of the public meeting schedule. Could I be put on an email list to notify me when a meeting is scheduled? Thanks

  2. 2. Karin Sommer from MPC on February 2, 2009

    Thanks, Jens. I'll make sure you're kept in the loop.
    Another way to stay informed and share ideas is through the href="">Polhref=""
    href="">ish Triangle
    on the Placemaking Movement networking site.

    For additional questions, please email me at href="" target=_blank> .



  3. 3. Victoria Granacki from Chicago, IL on February 11, 2009

    I''m the author of a book, "Chicago''s Polish Downtown" which focusses a lot on the history of this area. Let me know if I can be of any help. For example if you might be considering creating informational pylons that illustrate the architecture and history of the area.

  4. 4. Karin Sommer from MPC on February 12, 2009

    Thanks, Victoria. I''m sure your insight will be
    valuable. If you haven''t already, please join the href=""
    target=_blank>Polish Triangle group
    to stay informed of public events and meetings. We may need to create some informational boards in the near future. Thank you for your offer to help. I''ll be in touch-


  5. 5. Tracy Fabbri from Lake Forest, IL on March 7, 2010

    Hi Karin,
    I wondered if there has been any disscussion to create a possible monument or memorial to recognize the polish heritage of the many residents of the Triangle. I would like to present our studio artists and credentials if you are welcoming presentations. Please let me know.
    Thank you,
    Tracy Fabbri

  6. 6. Karin on March 8, 2010

    Hi Tracy,
    Yes, there are discussions about creating a monument to recognize the history of the area. I'm happy to put you in touch with some of the people leading this effort. Email me at and I'll send you contact information.

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