Cutting edge planning in Belmont Cragin and Chicago Lawn



A New Stage for Belmont Cragin…and, Quality-of-Life Planning in Auburn Gresham, Chicago Lawn and Englewood

By Carl Vogel
January 20, 2016

More than 200 residents and other community stakeholders gathered at Belmont Cragin Elementary School on December 17 for an event that was part design charrette and part talent show – with a bit of tent revival meeting thrown in for good measure.

“The final community meeting to create a Belmont Cragin quality-of-life plan could have served as the dictionary definition for a big chunk of the letter E: Enthusiasm. Engagement. Entertainment. Energy. It even dipped into the letter D: Democracy.”

Led by the Northwest Side Housing Center (NWSHC), a neighborhood taskforce and subcommittees dedicated to specific issues have been meeting since March 2015, writing and refining strategies to map out the future of the community. They’ve reached out to hundreds of residents and neighborhood institutions with community meetings, door-to-door survey teams, and outreach at events like local school council meetings.

“This plan would not be possible without you,” said James Rudyk, Jr., NWSHC’s executive director, in his speech to start the night. “This is a plan that is for, by and with the residents of Belmont Cragin. You’re here tonight to tell us what you want for the neighborhood.”

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