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The Last Mile

 

The urban fabric of Chicago has always been distinguished by the competing forces of infrastructural and engineering marvel and the historically embedded local character of ever evolving communities. The Last Mile, based in the Jefferson Park and Forest Glen neighborhoods, aims to activate these forces and redefine urban mobility connections and a sense of belonging in public space. Along the way we’ll highlight the lesser known cultural and historic heritage of both communities.

Why Jefferson Park and Forest Glen?

 

Historically viewed as the “Gateway” to Chicago, both Jefferson Park and Forest Glen were farms on the eastern edge of the city along the Indian Boundary Line. Decades worth of urban development, heavy handed infrastructural changes and an increase in population with a rich cultural diversity have all contributed to this area’s unique urban character. The Jefferson Park Intermodal Transit Center whose scheduled $25 million renovation is in predesign phase, serves more than 2 million commuters annually and the 38,000 residents living in Jefferson Park and Forest Glen directly. The Last Mile’s timely development will offer the residents a platform to make their stories heard, to highlight the community’s landmarks, to reveal transportation patterns and needs.

The Last Mile will engage residents of Jefferson Park and Forest Glen in a creative placemaking initiative that creates a lasting legacy by developing cultural routes that highlight history; strengthening urban mobility; and building community through cultural and civic engagement.

We aim to

 

  • Highlight the unique assets of Jefferson Park and Forest Glen’s urban environment
  • Broaden the reach of existing local cultural organizations and businesses
  • Encourage a pedestrian, cycle and public transportation friendly area

Outcomes

 

  • Series of community workshops with residents at different community locations
  • 10-12 mapped lesser known historic urban culture routes for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Temporary alleyway installation to activate public space, encourage conversations and facilitate a sense of belonging
  • Increased city, national and international visibility through the Good City Group’s partnership with the First Chicago Architecture Biennial