Uptown residents discuss the future of Uptown and two key sites near the Wilson Station.
This is the first of three posts on our three-part workshop series in Uptown.
Last night, the Clarendon Park Fieldhouse was buzzing with activity as Uptown residents expressed their views on the future of their community.
Residents were there to take part in the first of the Metropolitan Planning Council’s (MPC) Uptown Corridor Development Initiative meetings, a participatory planning process designed to allow communities to proactively plan for real-world development scenarios. The initiative focuses on a series of specific sites over the course of three public workshops and asks residents to envision a future for their neighborhood.
In Uptown, participants are being asked to consider the future of two principal sites—the now-closed Stewart School and the parcels paralleling the realigned CTA Red and Purple Line tracks. These sites are at the center of the neighborhood and very close to the Wilson rail station, which is due for a major upgrade. MPC’s equitable transit-oriented development initiative focuses on encouraging more housing and jobs located near transit, which is why the Uptown site was prioritized for this Corridor Development Initiative.
The 87 residents who attended last night’s workshop shared their vision for the neighborhood and identified current opportunities and challenges facing the community. Alderman James Cappleman noted that he is excited to hear about the community’s goals for the site, and Chicago Public Schools representative Liza Balistreri emphasized that the results of the three-workshop process will be incorporated into their deliberations over the future of the Stewart School.
Residents expressed a clear desire to maintain Uptown’s diversity and affordability, while welcoming new improvements into the neighborhood. MPC will share a more detailed summary of public responses at Monday’s meeting, where they will be used to help formulate ideas for the sites, and in the coming weeks via the website.
Join us Monday, May 12, at 6 p.m., at the Clarendon Park Fieldhouse for the next stage of the Corridor Development Initiative, the block exercise, where residents will sketch out hypothetical concepts for the sites.