Introduction

Walk The Line/Introduction
Good City Group
Written By Good City Group

The Good City Group is a salon-style urban design group of architects, industrial designers, urban planners, design strategists, IT professionals and policymakers from diverse practice areas dedicated to healthy, sustainable cities.

This adventure is designed by the Good City Group – a Chicago-based, salon-style urban design group of architects, industrial designers, urban planners, design strategists, graphic / web designers, and policy makers from diverse practice areas – all dedicated to socially and ecologically sustainable urban environments.

The urban fabric of Chicago has always been distinguished by the competing forces of infrastructural statecraft entangled with the historically unique local character of distinct communities. The Good City Group’s Last Mile Project is based in the Jefferson Park, Forest Glen and Sauganash neighborhoods, and aims to open up novel urban mobility options, an informed sense of belonging, and a shared experience of public space. Along the way we’ll highlight the lesser-known cultural and historic heritage of these communities – including remnants of the Indian Boundary Lines that were established by a treaty exactly 200 years ago, and which had a marked impact on the urban fabric of these and other communities in and around Chicago.

Historically viewed as the “gateway” to Chicago, both Jefferson Park and Forest Glen were farms on the northwestern 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 pre-design phase, serves more than 2 million commuters annually and the 38,000 residents living in Jefferson Park, Forest Glen and Sauganash directly.

The Last Mile Project’s timely development, WALK THE LINE, offers residents a platform to share their stories, to highlight community landmarks, to reveal opportunities and constraints in the different modes of public transportation and to introduce new patterns of complementary mobility options.

The Good City Group views these 'last mile' adventures as prototypical and as such, replicable in many similar urban contexts where disconnected infrastructural networks can be reactivated through a more fluid, culturally meaningful and community-embedded sense of belonging in public space. The cultural walks become a contingent, anticipatory opportunity for communities to take ownership and allow such gestures to punctuate formal states of equilibrium and allow meaningful change to take affect.

BibliographyAndreas, A. T. History of Cook County, Illinois: From the Earliest Period to the Present Time. Chicago: A.T. Andreas, 1884. Print. Bull, Alfred. The Township of Jefferson, Ill. and "Dinner-pail Avenue," from Mastodon to Man Whether Red, White, Black or Piebald. Irving Park, IL: A. Bull, 1911. Print. Grossman, James R., et al. The encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004. Print. Keating, Ann Durkin. Rising up from Indian Country: The Battle of Fort Dearborn and the Birth of Chicago. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print. Mikota, Marilyn. Parallel lives revealed : a Chicago story and beyond. Victoria, BC: Trafford, 2007. Print.

Walk The Line

Introduction

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