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Chicago UrbanMain Seeks to Create Local Design Guidelines

August 30, 2021 | Chicago INVEST South/West Update: Chicago UrbanMain Seeks to Create Local Design Guidelines | 

A festival on the Chicago Ave. corridor in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago on August 7. Credit: Dionne Baux.

The Chicago UrbanMain program has entered a partnership with the University of Chicago Urban Design Studio and University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Urban Planning and Policy School to support facade rehabilitation efforts in two districts in Chicago’s INVEST South/West Program. Emily Talen, Professor of Urbanism at the University of Chicago, will work with students at UIC and University of Chicago during the 2021 fall semester to develop design guidelines for the Commercial Avenue corridor in South Chicago and the Chicago Avenue corridor in West Humboldt Park.

Students in groups of 9-10 will work with Chicago UrbanMain and local INVEST South/West communities to translate design concepts into a proposed set of design guidelines for the community to consider. Students will support the rehabilitation of facades in these two corridors by studying the current state of the district and developing an urban design framework plan for area redevelopment illustrating current conditions and future vision for potential development of the corridor. 

While Chicago has neighborhood design guidelines, they're not specific to neighborhoods or communities. These student-produced guidelines will aim to highlight the historic character of each district. These design guidelines may go to The Department of Planning and Development at the City of Chicago and become city policy for corridors moving forward.

Stay tuned for the results of the partnership this winter.