Chicago Neighborhoods 2015

A Citywide Look at Chicago’s Built Environment

Chicago Neighborhoods 2015: Assets, Plans and Trends is a research project by The Chicago Community Trust that focuses on Chicago’s built environment. This includes infrastructure, natural features and physical and institutional assets that define and influence the city’s musculature. The project provides data and other pertinent contextual information for every section of the city. It identifies major recent investments, maps assets and synthesizes ideas from Chicago’s many excellent local and citywide plans.

Chicago Neighborhoods 2015 is organized into 16 “districts” bound by major roadways, watercourses and rail lines. District boundaries are based largely on the City of Chicago’s 2013 Citywide Retail Market Analysis. They create a logical coordinating framework for place-based planning citywide that also can accommodate a local context, and in doing so help the entirety of Chicago identify where the built environment contributes to local prosperity and where additional planning and investment are needed. The district framework is not meant to replace local planning, but to strengthen it and expand it citywide. Chicago’s 77 Community Areas align closely, if imperfectly, with the 16 districts. Community Areas match U.S. Census boundaries and are the source of most socio-economic and journalistic presentations on Chicago neighborhoods. The table at the bottom of this page displays the 16 districts of Chicago Neighborhoods 2015 and their corresponding Community Areas.

Chicago Neighborhoods 2015 advances The Chicago Community Trust’s goal of healthy, stable communities throughout Chicago. The project is a snapshot of the city’s built environment as of early 2015. It seeks not to build something new or a return on investment, but rather to look comprehensively and systematically citywide at the role of the built environment in creating a stronger, better city. Every block of Chicago has an asset. To develop each and every one fully and fairly, The Chicago Community Trust encourages diverse stakeholders to use Chicago Neighborhoods 2015 as a resource for community planning and development, resident engagement and local program implementation.

http://www.cn2015.net

  • Project Methodology

    In February 2014, The Chicago Community Trust convened a steering committee of public, private and civic nonprofit experts in community planning and development to oversee the development of the three interrelated components of Chicago Neighborhoods 2015: assets of the built environment, plans for the built environment, and trends in the built environment. The Chicago Neighborhoods 2015 steering committee formally convened on five occasions and informally met between meetings. The steering committee allowed for robust input from multiple perspectives on all aspects of Chicago Neighborhoods 2015.

    For questions about Chicago Neighborhoods 2015, please contact Michael Davidson.

    Sixteen Districts

    The materials for Chicago Neighborhoods 2015 are organized into 16 “districts” defined by the City of Chicago in its 2013 Citywide Retail Market Analysis. District lines generally reflect natural boundaries or barriers such as expressways, railroad viaducts and historic land uses. The districts create a logical framework for place-based planning citywide that also can accommodate the local context. Chicago Neighborhoods 2015 employs this citywide framework to coordinate and give context to Chicago’s many excellent plans and in doing so identifies where the built environment contributes to local prosperity and where additional investment is needed. The district framework is not meant to replace place-based local planning, but to strengthen it and expand it citywide. Without the 16 district coordinating framework, Chicago’s place-based plans are mapped as follows: Map of placed-based plans and special districts in Chicago (not exhaustive).

    The 16 districts of Chicago Neighborhoods 2015 are roughly, but not completely, aligned with one to eight Chicago Community Areas, which are the official boundaries used by the U.S. Census and most socio-economic and journalistic presentations about the city’s neighborhoods. To be consistent with other reports and studies about Chicago, Chicago Neighborhoods 2015 data are compiled by Community Area or a grouping of Community Areas.

    Project Components

    Assets of the built environment. LISC Chicago engaged more than 150 stakeholders through focus groups to identify assets in each district that could guide capital investment decisions. The LISC team also conducted additional research, administered an online survey to more than 200 individuals, and developed district-specific narratives for background and context. Narratives generally follow the boundaries of the 16 Chicago Neighborhoods 2015 districts, but in cases where a section of the city is split across districts, it is more fully described in one section and referenced in the other. For instance, Chinatown is grouped with the Stockyards District but also referenced in Central Area. Goose Island is featured in Central Area, but is technically also part of Milwaukee Avenue and Lincoln Park Lakeview.
    The Summary of Assets also includes two sets of maps: one with locally identified assets, the other showing wards, Special Service Areas, Tax Increment Financing districts, and local business development groups.
    CN2015_LISCMethodology

    Summary of community assets by LISC Chicago, with mapping and outreach support from Teska Associates, Inc., and writing by Patrick Barry

    Plans for the built environment. Metropolitan Planning Council provided synopses of more than 80 citywide and local planning documents since 2000 with stated goals for the built environment. Design guidelines, studies and unfinished plans were not included. Each planning summary includes the plan name, date the plan was made public and/or adopted by the Chicago Plan Commission, the Community Areas, the plan contributors, a brief overview, general and specific recommendations, plan maps and data references, highlighted accomplishments, key unfinished projects, and a hyperlink to the planning document.
    CN2015_MPC_Methodology

    Synthesis of plans by Metropolitan Planning Council, with support from PLACE Consulting

    Trends in the built environment. The Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University collected data and built metrics to help stakeholders understand existing conditions across a range of capital planning issue areas. These data on conditions can be used to inform the case for intervention strategies and compare needs across districts.
    CN2015_IHSDePaul_Methodology

    Data analysis by Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University

  • Steering Committee

    Steering Committee Members

    Michael Davidson, Senior Program Officer in Sustainable Development, The Chicago Community Trust
    Brad McConnell, Deputy Commissioner for Planning and Operations, City of Chicago, Department of Planning and Development
    Bob Dean, Deputy Executive Director for Local Planning, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
    Marisa Novara, Program Director, Metropolitan Planning Council
    Jake Ament, Program Officer, Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago
    Bob McKenna, Assistant Commissioner of Neighborhoods, City of Chicago, Department of Community Development
    Luann Hamilton, Deputy Commissioner, Chicago Department of Transportation
    Calvin Holmes, President, Chicago Community Loan Fund
    Jon DeVries, Director, Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate, Walter E. Heller College of Business, Roosevelt University
    Brad Hunt, Vice Provost for Adult and Experiential Learning and Dean of the Evelyn T. Stone College of Professional Studies, Roosevelt University
    Doug Voight, Director of Urban Design and Planning, Skidmore Owings & Merrill
    Les Pollack, Principal Consultant, Camiros, Ltd.

    Project Partners

    Jake Ament, Program Officer, Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago
    Patrick Barry, Writer, Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago
    Scott Goldstein, Principal, Teska Associates
    Marisa Novara, Program Director, Metropolitan Planning Council
    Kimberly Bares, President, PLACE Consulting
    Geoff Smith, Executive Director, Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University
    Sarah Duda, Associate Director, Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University
    John Houseal, Principal and Cofounder, Houseal Lavigne Associates
    Devin Lavigne, Principal, Houseal Lavigne Associates
    Doug Hammel, Senior Associate, Houseal Lavigne Associates
    Nikolas Davis, Senior Associate, Houseal Lavigne Associates

    The Chicago Community Trust also thanks:

    Mike Simmons, Principal Advisor for Policy, City of Chicago, Department of Planning and Development
    Luis Monterrubio, Coordinating Planner, City of Chicago, Department of Planning and Development
    Todd Wyatt, Coordinating Planner, City of Chicago, Department of Planning and Development
    Heidi Sperry, Coordinator of Special Projects, City of Chicago, Department of Planning and Development
    Mike Amsden, Assistant Director of Transportation Planning, Chicago Department of Transportation
    Haven Leeming, Sustainable Development Support, The Chicago Community Trust
    Dan Hughes, Sustainable Development Intern, The Chicago Community Trust