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NCP planning update – August 2004

The largest grassroots neighborhood planning effort ever organized in Chicago was at its midpoint in early August 2004 as 10 communities engaged in quality-of-life planning. More than 40 task force meetings and public forums had taken place and 30 planning sub-committees had met. Total meeting attendance has exceeded 2,600.

Photo: Patrick Barry

A meeting in Chicago Lawn, Jan. 31, 2004.

Ten Chicago neighborhoods

Planning processes are underway in Auburn-Gresham, Chicago Lawn, East Garfield, Humboldt Park, Little Village, Logan Square, the Mid-South Side (Quad Communities), North Lawndale and Woodlawn. A 10th neighborhood, Englewood, has begun pre-planning. The four other NCP lead agencies completed plans in the last few years: Pilsen, West Haven (Near West), South Chicago and Washington Park.

Current status

Target date for completion of printed plans is March/April 2005. The groups will finish planning in three stages, with the first plans completed by late 2004:

First wave: Plans are in the working draft stage for Auburn Gresham, Humboldt Park and North Lawndale. Strategies and projects are being finalized.

Second wave: Charrette workshops have been completed in Woodlawn, Little Village and Chicago Lawn (resulting in a rough list of strategies and projects). The Quad Communities workshop is planned for September 18.

Third wave: Workshops and completion of planning are expected this fall for East Garfield and Logan Square. Englewood is now in the pre-planning stage and will hold its workshop this winter.

Creating a roadmap

The plans serve as a framework for comprehensive community development, which includes social and educational programs, economic development and physical improvements. Implementing the plans involves a partnership of local groups, government, businesses, LISC/Chicago and other funders.

A structured, public process

The NCP lead agency in each community organizes a representative task force that conducts about six major meetings including large public meetings where plan ideas are reviewed. The task force and committees develop a series of strategies, projects and programs; recruit partners; assign responsibilities for implementing each project or program; and develop timelines for implementation.

Professional support

Residents put ideas onto a map in Humboldt Park.

The planning processes are organized by the local NCP director and organizer. Each process receives technical support from the planning firm Camiros, Ltd ., including facilitation and development of maps, renderings and concept plans. A professional writer records the discussions at major meetings and drafts the final plan.

Broad participation

Most communities have achieved high levels of participation. Task forces include 20 to 35 community members. Public meetings have attracted 50 to 210 participants. Common issues Each community identifies issues as an early planning step. Though the details differ, top concerns are shared across most communities. School quality, financial needs, retail development and youth development are on most lists.

Learn more about NCP planning

Read an article about the planning process from the American Planning Association's Planning Magazine. Download the Adobe PDF file (2.3 MB) here.

View a slideshow of the initial visioning sessions .

View a slideshow of a youth visioning session .

Read about how groups launched their planning processes .

Learn what worked in the early months of the process.

Read about the NCP Planning Handbook .

Download maps and data about each NCP neighborhood.

Browse NCP articles related to

Planning process

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