In my policy course this unit we are studying policy on a local level. For this project we were asked to address a policy issue in our community. We had to find the responses made to the issue and either amend it or create a entirely new one. We created proposals using any medium we wanted to. I did a powerpoint presentation and a short email that I would send to after school matters and community organizers in my neighborhood. My favorite part of this project was creating the community garden that I thought should replace a vacant lot near my house. I learned that even if the response to an issue isn’t what you want it still has reason and value behind it. Below is my powerpoint as well as my email. Enjoy 🙂
I know that you guys do a lot with place making and fixing up the Chicago communities. I have created a proposal to fix up a vacant lot in my neighborhood. Below is my proposal.
Community Renewal Proposal
Chicago has around 50,000 vacant lots throughout the city. Most of which have been gated, fenced, or just abandoned. In my neighborhood there are about 7 within a 5 mile radius. I want to focus on one specifically that is directly across the street from my house. It has been an empty lot since I’ve lived in my community which is over 16 years. It is filled with broken glass, trash, bricks, and debris. In the 16 years nothing has been done by the city to improve this vacant lot or amend it but they have put up many signs and small fences.
In other vacant lots and areas like these community organizations have worked on this project called placemaking. Place making is when a community gets together to improve their community by creating an amenity for the community. Some examples are community gardens, playgrounds and parks, basketball courts, or meeting area. Placemaking is a low cost way to fix something up and bring the community together.
My suggestion is to turn this vacant lot into a community garden. It educates children about healthy foods and gives them a safe space to be in. It also can be used to send fresh locally grown vegetables to stores nearby. It will bring people together and give people a sense of ownership of their community. Overall it’s great for the space and the community.
Thanks for your consideration,
About two months ago I submitted the email and power point above to my alderman. Around a month later I have already seen changes to the vacant lot. It has not only been cleaned up by city officials but the property owners have also come out and added plants an little garden in the lot. I also have seen plans for benches. I am really happy to see that my voice and project made a positive change in my community.