Fall 2018 – 497-309: Visualizing the Future of Chicago’s Avondale Community via Big Data (that Informs Planning & Neighborhood Decision Making)

Meeting Day/Time:
Tuesdays from 6:25 to 9:05 pm
Avondale Neighborhood Association
Joseph Clair (Undergraduate Education – Community Development & Sustainability) (joseph.clair@iit.edu)
Appropriate Majors
Social Innovation

Avondale is growing in both interest and development, steeped in a rich blue-collar history. The Avondale Neighborhood Association (ANA) is a young organization aiming to establish a community plan that respects Avondale’s past while looking to a mindful future. Given this context, ANA is excited about the opportunity to collaborate with an IPRO team to help advance its goals. There are a variety of possible projects that can benefit from the creative efforts of an IPRO team. These possibilities will be further refined by the time the semester begins and through discussions with the IPRO team as it develops its plan for the semester. The range of possible tasks and investigations that could begin in fall 2018 and extend over multiple semesters include:

  • engage community residents, businesses and other organizations via meetings, surveys, and/or canvassing to determine what the community would like to see happen in their neighborhood;
  • consider both “sides” of Avondale – east and west of I90/I94 – and characterize the extent to which they may have different visions and criteria and how they may coalesce to shape a more common future;
  • document existing building type inventory;
  • create guidelines documents for future developments that developers and architects can use in creating new construction proposals depending on the type of street contemplated;
  • develop a community communication strategy (that may include events and other non-technology solutions as well as social media, mobile apps, etc) for use by ANA to (i) share its community’s vision and plans and provide guidance to developers as well as (ii) share information with residents, businesses and other organizations in Avondale;
  • create an action plan for establishing a vision for ANA as an important voice in the community based on insights about what the role and relevance of other neighborhood organizations in their communities
  • investigate approaches to achieving an effective balance between neighborhood vibrancy and walkability and the expansive wastelands of parking;
  • characterize the future of retail and how it can be accommodated and serve the needs of the neighborhood; and
  • explore opportunities for a balanced multi-mode transportation plan that improves traffic flow, accommodates pedestrians and their accessibility needs and celebrates green space.
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