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Across Chicago, more than 15,000 city-owned lots sit vacant. These empty spaces represent a challenge and an opportunity for many neighborhoods. Ward 24, which spans through North Lawndale, has approximately 1,100 vacant lots alone. How might these lots provide space for needed neighborhood activities, foster economic investment and opportunities, and also provide places where individuals and groups within North Lawndale might gather?
The Available City Collective imagines these lots not just as infill of 1,100 individual projects, but as a whole set— capable of providing a distinct identity to the neighborhood.
Newly designed spaces might include: a roof and walkway that could host outdoor gatherings, exhibitions, or classroom space; a grid of outdoor rooms that open to one another at their corners; a collection of storefront-like openings with protruding balconies, and a set of flexible spaces along property lines that could be home to new businesses such as car washes, markets, kitchens, or bike shops.