October 01 2014

Wise or Not, Canton Crossing Brings the Suburbs to Baltimore City, Maryland

October 1st, 2014Posted by 

If you had never been to Baltimore City and I blindfolded you and dropped you off at the shops at Canton Crossing, upon taking off the blindfold you would rightfully assume that you were in a suburb far, far away. An asphalt parking lot would span out in front of you, without any direct pedestrian path […]

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September 26 2013

Farewell From Chicago: Andrew Kinaci Signing Off

September 26th, 2013Posted by 

It’s incredible to be writing my last post for The Grid, as it seems like my internship has just begun. The author from the Willis Tower Skydeck In my day job, I work for an energy affiliate of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, an urban sustainability think-and-do tank. I applied for this blogging position as […]

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September 12 2013

Exclusivity at Any Expense: The Lack of Affordable Housing on Chicago’s North Shore

September 12th, 2013Posted by 

The Village of Winnetka has taken a hostile stance towards the affordable housing expansion In March of 2012, the affluent Chicago suburb of Winnetka, IL soundly defeated a referendum expanding affordable housing options in the village. The anti-affordable housing group Winnetka Home Owners Association (WHOA) had campaigned for a year to gather signatures to place […]

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August 29 2013

Infrastructure Innovation: The Chicago Infrastructure Trust

August 29th, 2013Posted by 

In an era of declining tax receipts, urban planners the world over are grappling with the challenge of securing financing for needed infrastructure improvements. As early as 2007, Senators Chris Dodd and Chuck Hagel floated the idea of a National Infrastructure Bank, an entity that would be able to leverage private investment dollars to fund […]

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August 15 2013

From Curitiba to Chicago: The New Rapid Transit Bus Corridor

August 15th, 2013Posted by 

After a year-long planning study, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), in partnership with the Chicago Department of Transportation, the Department of Housing and Economic Development, and the Federal Transit Administration, selected Ashland Avenue to be the first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor in the Windy City. As BRT systems have many features in common with […]

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August 01 2013

Chicago’s Crosswalks: Planning for Pedestrians in the Windy City

August 1st, 2013Posted by 

While crosswalk paint may not be the most glamorous part of an urban planner’s job, it represents an integral part of their vision. The City of Chicago released its first-ever Pedestrian Plan last fall as part of a long-term effort to improve safety. The city has double the national average for hit-and-run pedestrian fatalities, and […]

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July 18 2013

The Peculiarity of Aldermanic Privilege

July 18th, 2013Posted by 

Urban planners and developers everywhere often need to contend with onerous local zoning codes and wind their way through arduous public approval processes. It’s simply part of the art of placemaking. Yet nowhere is this process as politically peculiar as in the city of Chicago. The city is divided into 50 political wards, each of […]

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July 04 2013

Chicago’s Polluted and Under-used Waterways

July 4th, 2013Posted by 

The South Branch of the Chicago River Chicago’s relationship with its river is a conflicted one. Chicago was only chosen as a settlement site due to the possibility of joining two major watersheds, that of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River to the Mississippi River. The waterway that made the city possible took […]

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July 03 2013

(The GRID Blogger) Abbey Seitz: Minneapolis, Minnesota

July 3rd, 2013Posted by 

A big Global Site Plans welcome to our newest blogger, Abbey Seitz in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Abbey Seitz is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Design of Art in Architecture and minor in Sustainability Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Growing up in a small suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, she knew no different than cold snowy […]

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June 20 2013

Chicago’s South Works Redevelopment Project

June 20th, 2013Posted by 

Renowned Chicago urban planner Daniel Burnham once famously said, “Make no small plans.” The ambitious redevelopment of a former U.S. Steel Mill on Chicago’s South Side is no exception. In what has become a familiar narrative for former industrial sites, the 600-acre South Works is planned to be a mixed-use development the size of the […]

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June 06 2013

The On-Going Redevelopment Controversy at Cabrini-Green: Chicago, Illinois

June 6th, 2013Posted by 

Cabrini-Green Housing Project at its dedication in 1942 The failures of idealistic public housing projects have been studied and debated by many, and tarnished the credibility of American urban planners for a generation. Urban renewal policies in the middle of the twentieth century advocated the clearance of entire neighborhoods, and their replacement with high-rise housing […]

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May 23 2013

The Influence of the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan on Physical Land Use

May 23rd, 2013Posted by 

In 2012, Chicago residents were asked to participate in the process of planning the city’s cultural future. The city has long been home to world-class cultural venues, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as localized neighborhood cultural events and festivals. With the intention of expanding the tremendous cultural capital Chicago has, in […]

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May 09 2013

Chief Keef and Chicago, Illinois’ Murder Rate: The Glorification of Youth Violence

May 9th, 2013Posted by 

The summer of 2012 saw a drastic uptick in the number of shootings and murders across the city of Chicago, Illinois. While many metropolitan areas, including New York City, have been experiencing historic lows in their homicide and violent crime rates, Chicago saw 532 murders last year, a number higher than troop killings in Afghanistan. […]

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April 11 2013

Hyde Park and Bronzeville: Gentrification on Chicago’s South Side

April 11th, 2013Posted by 

With last fall’s announcement that the low-cost supermarket Village Foods would be closing in favor of a new upscale Whole Foods location, a long-running debate about gentrification on Chicago’s South Side was re-ignited. The Hyde Park storefront is adjacent to the University of Chicago, and is part of a larger development project slated to bring […]

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March 28 2013

James Corner and the Re-Design of Chicago’s Navy Pier

March 28th, 2013Posted by 

James Corner’s Field Operations, renowned designer of New York’s High Line Park, won the design competition for Chicago’s Navy Pier one year ago. The attraction is approaching its centennial in 2016, and the trustees of Navy Pier, Inc. hope the renovations will be completed in time to celebrate. Navy Pier is a major tourist attraction […]

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March 14 2013

Preservation or Progress? The Battle for Prentice Hospital

March 14th, 2013Posted by 

As architect Bertrand Goldberg’s civic legacy was highlighted in his engagement with Federal regulators during the Marina City Project, another prominent building of his remains mired in a preservation struggle. The Prentice Women’s Hospital (pictured above) is considered an icon of modern design, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation just lost the fight to save it from […]

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February 28 2013

Bertrand Goldberg and Marina City: Architecture’s Lost Civic Engagement

February 28th, 2013Posted by 

Bertrand Goldberg’s iconic Marina City project has been a fixture of Chicago’s skyline for decades. The unique, futuristic, corncob-shaped towers, constructed using innovative concrete pouring techniques, represented a bold expression of design in the late 1950’s. As remarkable as Marina City is from a design perspective, a retrospective on Goldberg’s work at the Art Institute […]

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February 14 2013

The Plant: Chicago’s Vertical Farm and Sustainable Business Incubator

February 14th, 2013Posted by 

With the trend of de-industrialization common to many American cities, the 93,500 square-foot Peer Foods meatpacking plant was in danger of being abandoned when it was sold in 2010 to a unique social enterprise. Enter the The Plant, an ambitious effort to convert this huge facility into a vertical farm and business incubator. By recruiting […]

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February 04 2013

(The GRID Blogger) Sean Glowacz: Chicago, Illinois

February 4th, 2013Posted by 

A big Global Site Plans welcome to our newest blogger, Sean Glowacz from Chicago, Illinois. Sean Glowacz holds a Masters of Urban Planning and Public Policy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sean spent two years at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning as a Research Assistant. His work focused on various tasks related to […]

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January 31 2013

How Bout Them Apples? Chicago Rarities Orchard Project Claims Public Space for Heirloom Produce

January 31st, 2013Posted by 

Ever wonder why the supermarket only carries four types of apples? With the proliferation of commercial-scale agriculture, hundreds of unique fruit and vegetable varietals were lost, spurned in favor of heartier and easier to ship breeds. The Chicago Rarities Orchard Project, or CROP, is a new initiative that seeks to reclaim this lost biodiversity (along […]

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