Livable Streets and Reviving a Chicago Plaza Proposal

by crandell | 07/02/2010


Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin today posted a great piece on livable streets and street closures and revived a plaza proposal I floated last year: Let's keep an open mind on closing streets: They might bring new life to dull city blocks

Read the proposal for a plaza by the Belmont Red Line station here:

Where else might you envision a neighborhood plaza in Chicago?

Belmont Pedestrian Plaza -- a Placemaking Proposal for Lakeview

by crandell | 04/06/2009


In celebration of the Burnham Centennial, I'm sharing an idea to enhance the public realm in my neighborhood. I've lived in Lakeview for six years, and while I love it, I've always felt that it's missing a quality public gathering space. The various sub-neighborhoods kind of have their own little centers, but you can't really inhabit those places. Most of the sidewalks are too narrow and there aren't places to sit. I grew up near Annapolis, Md., which has a harbor with a plaza where people would hang out to talk, eat ice cream, drink coffee, etc. And Lakeview alone is almost three times the size of Annapolis, so we should be able to support a place like that. Anyone who has lived in a European city also knows what a pleasure a nice centrally located plaza can be. But even some other neighborhoods in Chicago have such places. I'm thinking of Giddings Plaza in Lincoln Square, which is a great, active public place.