Northwest Side District Plans Synthesis

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.

Planning Context: Transportation, economic development and neighborhood vitality are keywords from the three plans in the Northwest Side. The 2008 Jefferson Park Milwaukee/Lawrence Corridor Study focuses on enhancing the area’s accessibility and livability, and includes plans for reinvigorating “downtown” Jefferson Park through enhanced transit, additional parking, a redeveloped Transit Center and Post Office Annex, increased pedestrian safety, and building on the area’s strong Polish history and identity. Successfully implemented projects include the Copernicus Center’s expanded programming that now attracts more visitors, and three new venues that have recently opened in the area: Gift Theater, the National Veterans Art Museum and the Ed Paschke Art Center. A streetscape project has been completed on Milwaukee, and new light poles, trees and sidewalks were installed. Many recommendations remain to be implemented. The area enjoys easy access via the Blue Line and the Expressway to downtown Chicago, O’Hare and the northwestern suburbs; focusing efforts on the large-scale developments, as well as marketing and promotion efforts will move the community that much closer to the plan’s goal of improving the function and character of the corridor through preservation, renovation and redevelopment. [Excerpted from Summary of Northwest Side District Plans]