Master Plan Update; January 2017
- Chicago Ave Should Transition into a “Complete Street”
- West Town should celebrate its neighborhoods
- West Town should become a destination for sustainable practices
- West Town should encourage small business development
- West Town should be a center of art and creativity
A charrette is an intensive planning session where citizens, business owners, and others collaborate on a vision for development. It provides a forum for ideas and offers the unique advantage of giving immediate feedback to the community. More importantly, it allows everyone who participates to be a mutual author of the plan.
This interactive design workshop was intended to be a hypothetical think tank for “what could be” on a real site in West Town at 2400 W. Chicago. This space has been empty and unused for about 10 years. Community members got an opportunity to bring their skills together, collaborate and come up with a plan and design for 2400 w. Chicago. The most feasible aspects of these designs will be featured in the West Town Master Plan with recommendations as to how this could be achieved; this will outline what each stakeholder can do in order for the design to become a reality.
We separated the participants into three groups and they came up with the following designs for the site:
3 parcel mixed use residential space; 6 story building; 3 commercial spaces facing chicago
The remaining spots would house a Trader Joe’s on the first floor; 2 stories of parking above and 5 stories of residential spaces above that
LEED certified green roof and green space
A green alleyway (permeable pavers, so the building doesn’t flood the community around)
Encourage more pedestrian traffic to reactivate more retail space
Believe commercial development is moving in a different direction
Communal space, with a stage with public programming all day
Communal area with space for farmers markets
Food truck spaces along the western side to help sponsor programming on the entire site
Relatively simple structure for market space
2nd-floor anchor/tenant bar/restaurant rooftop; view to the city, private business space, private events to offset the cost for the first floor independent retailers.
More established companies from out of town who don’t want to invest in a brick and mortar expansion can lease larger spaces on the first floor
Transit-oriented incubator for small business owners and artists
SSA rebate program for their first month's rent to relocate into the west town SSA after they have been established in this incubator
Reminiscent of St. Lawrence market in Toronto or the Public Market in Milwaukee
This is our second to last community meeting, and once again a success in bringing great ideas together from a mix of residents in West Town. Thank you all for making it out a Saturday!
The second Consensus Workshop in our 4 part series of meetings helped us hone in some of those widespread ideas generated in our last consensus workshop. We encouraged participants to brainstorm more specific ideas that answered the basic question: what would make West Town more vibrant than it already is?
In previous workshops, we’ve frequently discussed “green spaces,” more “arts and culture,” and “community identity” as things our community as a whole needs to further develop. We wanted to enlist a conversation that sprouted more specific needs and concerns beyond the generic green spaces or arts and culture themes.
As in our previous consensus workshop, participants the workshop worked as follows: To begin, we facilitated brainstorm sessions, both individually and in groups; each person listed 5 or 6 programs, developments, or initiatives that west town lacks and would make it a more thriving and vibrant community. In teams of 2-3 people, they chose 6 of their best or most agreed upon ideas.
Below is a transcription of the board at the end of the workshop, here you will see the new topics that came about through our conversations. We also noticed an emphasis on multimodal transportation and small business development.
We want to thank everyone who came out during the final night of the DNC! We truly appreciate your time and input, it is very important for the development of our Master Plan.
This Consensus Workshop brought us to a general agreement about what we want in our plan for our community. To put things into context we asked the participants to think of a place they loved and what they loved about this place. With this in mind, we then asked the question that steered our workshop:
“What programs, developments, and initiatives is west town lacking that would make it a more thriving and vibrant community?”
By the end of this workshop we met two goals:
We gathered data for what West Town needs in order to be more vibrant.
We met some of our neighbors to develop new relationships and build our community into the future.
Through the Brainstorm sessions both individually and in groups, each person listed 5 or 6 programs, developments, or initiatives that west town lacks and would make it a more thriving and vibrant community. In teams of 4-5 people, they chose 6 of their best or most agreed upon ideas. Once we began to organize and cluster each of these ideas, topics, programs and initiatives the group started to see the patterns that would result in the chart below. The chart is exactly what our board looked like at the end of the workshop. As a group, the participants were asked to agree on a name that would represent each of the clusters created.
See below and find out if your ideas were mentioned! If you have other ideas that are not on the board come to our next meeting and we will expand on the ideas below, add new ones to the consensus, and elaborate on some that have been prevalent in this meeting and meetings past.
July 09, & 10 2016
What do you love about West Town?
We received many answers that spoke to the already very vibrant community we serve:
Great restaurants, Shopping variety, Fairly priced corner bars, Great People, Diversity of people, Food, family, culture, The terrain, Unique population, Sexy people, Small town big city, Ease of parking, Culture and character, Centrality in the city, BYOB restaurants, Artsy, The chamber of commerce, Hipster vibes, Good bars, Funtimes, Street fests, Weirdos, Fun and friendly for all, Community events, Strange mix of people.
During this meeting, we worked together to create a Historical Scan of West Town, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Land region at large. This workshop helped us to recognize patterns that have created and enhanced the vibrancy and success of West Town over the years, and spotted potential trends and developments in the years to come.
After we collectively added people, changes, and events to the history scan board, we established 5 themes that were most prominent throughout the board: Entertainment and Culture, Politics, Green and Open Space, Infrastructure, and Migration.
The stars on the board indicate what the participants felt were the most important topics of the time period, and we then as a group, named each time period.
By gathering and recording historical data as a group, we are now able to see patterns of success and vibrancy in West Town. This exercise has helped us hone in on the themes and topics we need to focus on in order to help West Town grow organically. This data will inform and create topics for our next two Community Consensus Workshop Meetings. As a group, we will once again have constructive conversations
Take a stand in your community and be part of this process! Your voice matters!