West 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.

Comprehensive housing strategies, improved community safety, youth development, educational opportunities for residents of all ages and economic development are common themes of the plans of the West Side. Beginning with North Lawndale: Faith Rewarded (2005), accomplishments range from the completion of the Better Boys Foundation Kellman Center in 2008 to development of new affordable apartments on the site where Martin Luther King Jr. once lived, as well as expanded access to mental health and substance abuse counseling. The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Windy City Harvest Youth Farm program, begun in 2005, expanded in 2012 to an additional site and also offers a produce stand in the community during the growing season. Much remains to be done, however, including creating the Cornerstone Chicago Center for Arts and Technology, developing commercial and recreational uses at the “Five Corners” intersection and reconfiguring and beautifying Ogden Avenue. [Excerpted from Summary of Westside District Plans]