"What Makes Your Place Great?" contest now accepting photos, videos of people's favorite "undiscovered" public places in Chicagoland - Metropolitan Planning Council

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"What Makes Your Place Great?" contest now accepting photos, videos of people's favorite "undiscovered" public places in Chicagoland

(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 placemakingchicago@metroplanning.org. (Find complete rules and submission criteria guidelines at PlacemakingChicago.com.) Entrants may feature places in the City of Chicago; in Chicago suburbs located in Boone, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties in Illinois; in Lake, Porter, and La Porte counties in Indiana; or in Racine and Kenosha counties in Wisconsin.

“Whether your favorite place is a secret garden, hidden courtyard, or the reading nook at your local library, show and tell us why it’s special to you and how it contributes to your community,” said MPC Associate Karin Sommer, who manages the Placemaking Chicago project. “What draws you back to the place again and again, and what makes it just as special as more well-known places in your community?”

Four winners will be selected: A committee of Placemaking experts will choose three winners; and the public will determine one winner by online vote between Aug. 9 and Sept. 10, 2010, at PlacemakingChicago.com.

Winners’ favorite places may be featured on an exclusive CAF tour in October 2010. Winners also will receive complimentary passes to one of the following Chicagoland institutions:

  • Brookfield Zoo
  • Shedd Aquarium
  • Chicago History Museum
  • Chicago Architecture Foundation

MPC and Placemaking Chicago are grateful for the generous contributions of our sponsors and donors: The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Prince Charitable Trusts, and Perkins+Will.

About Placemaking Chicago:
Placemaking focuses on the importance of lively neighborhoods and inviting public spaces to residents and communities. In 2008, MPC worked with the New York-based Project for Public Spaces (www.pps.org) to develop the first-ever city-specific guidebook on Placemaking, The Guide to Neighborhood Placemaking in Chicago. Through Placemaking Chicago, MPC is helping municipalities and city and suburban planning agencies incorporate Placemaking principles into their plans.

Last summer, dozens of people entered the “What Makes Your Place Great?” contest. Some 40 photos and 11 videos told the story of gardens and public plazas, coffee shops and hiking trails. More than 8,000 votes later, four public spaces emerged from these 51 nominees as shining examples of the positive impact Chicagoland’s unique public spaces have on residents, businesses, communities – the entire region. See a map of last year’s winners at PlacemakingChicago.com.

About Chicago Architecture Foundation
The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public interest and education in architecture and design. CAF presents a comprehensive program of tours, exhibitions, lectures, special events, and adult and youth education activities, all designed to enhance the public’s awareness and appreciation of Chicago’s outstanding architectural legacy. CAF is best known for their outstanding tours and exhibitions.  With more than 85 architecture tours to choose from, including boat, foot, bus, bike, or Segway, the enthusiastic and highly-educated docent guides will give you unexpected insights into why Chicago is known around the world for its spectacular architecture.  A great companion to any tour is a visit to Chicago Architecture Foundation’s exhibition, the Chicago Model City, whichtells the stories behind the planning of Chicago using an accurate and up-to-date large-scale model that enables visitors to trace the route of their tour and understand the Chicago urban plan. The exhibition is located next to a great retail store that features fun and unique merchandise.

About Metropolitan Planning Council
Since 1934, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has been dedicated to shaping a more sustainable and prosperous greater Chicago region. As an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, MPC serves communities and residents by developing, promoting and implementing solutions for sound regional growth.

For details about this contest, please contact Mandy Burrell Booth, MPC Assistant Communications Director, at 312-863-6018 or mburrell@metroplanning.org. Learn more about Placemaking – and read the complete “What Makes Your Place Great? Your Secret Corner of Chicagoland” contest rules and submission guidelines – at PlacemakingChicago.com; or by contacting MPC Associate Karin Sommer, at 312-863-6044 or ksommer@metroplanning.org.


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