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.
The Near West Side is home to 54,000 people, but each weekday it attracts that many and more to the Illinois Medical District, which employs 30,000 people, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, which has 27,000 students and 11,500 faculty and staff. When the Chicago Bulls or Blackhawks are playing at United Center, another 20,000 people flood the area, and some eat dinner or have drinks at nearby restaurants and bars.
Public transportation includes the CTA’s Green, Pink and Blue Lines; the busy Ashland, Western, Madison and Roosevelt bus routes; and 30 Divvy bike stations. Highway ramps connect to the Eisenhower (I-290), Kennedy (I-90), and Dan Ryan (I-94) Expressways, which converge at the Jane Byrne (formerly Circle) Interchange, now being rebuilt at a cost of $475 million. About one-fifth of area workers walk to their jobs, the second-highest rate of the CN2015 planning districts. [Excerpted from Summary of Assets]