The Calumet River basin on the southern tip of Lake Michigan was the industrial heart of Chicago’s steel industry for more than 80 years, supporting generations of families across multiple neighborhoods and retail districts. But with steel no longer driving the local economy, the district is redefining itself around historic neighborhoods, natural areas and clean industry. Still an unparalleled transportation nexus—served by multiple railroads, Interstate highways and water routes—Calumet offers enormous opportunities for infill housing as well as mixed-use or industrial development.

Home to 135,600 people in distinctive neighborhoods like Slag Valley, Irondale and Altgeld Gardens, the Calumet district contains a mix of African-American, Latino and white communities, many with well-kept brick bungalows, historic rowhouses and small apartment buildings. Almost 60 percent of the area’s 46,000 households are owner-occupied. [Excerpted from Summary of Assets]

Calumet Assets

Community assets are those built, natural, cultural and institutional elements that most define a neighborhood. They are anchor institutions, identity markers and community stabilizers. As such, they help guide local capital investment decisions.

Calumet Data

Neighborhoods are in a constant state of change. Data for the built environment informs decision-makers about existing conditions and allows for comparisons across neighborhoods and against citywide averages, and helps to determine what investments are needed.

Calumet Plans

Chicago has many citywide and local place-based plans with stated goals for the built environment. Some are municipal; others are nonprofit driven. They prioritize public and private capital investments, provide important context for those investments and help determine how a community should grow and where development should occur.