CDPH: The physical spaces where residents live, work and play influence health by providing opportunities to be active, maintain social connections and access resources. That’s why the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago (PHIMC) collaborated with Elevated Chicago for the 2019 Healthy Chicago 2.0 Community Seed Grants.

A total of $150,000 was awarded to six community-based organizations to support locally-driven activities and solutions aimed at improving the built environment to promote community walkability in connection to public transit.

The awardees were chosen keeping Elevated Chicago’s mission in mind: to use equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) to achieve racial equity in Chicago’s built environment in order to improve health, climate resilience and cultural vitality of people of color living and working near transit.

  1. The Foundation for Homan Square at the Blue Line Kedzie – Homan stop will transform a vacant lot in Homan Square by beautifying the corner to improve walkability, encourage social connectedness, and add commercial activity to the Kedzie Corridor.
  2. The Garfield Park Community Council (GPCC) at the Green Line Kedzie stop will improve community walkability around the CTA stop by designing and installing wayfinding signage at 10 intersections, implementing tactical urbanism projects at two intersections, and activating a People’s Plaza.
  3. Latinos Progresando at the Pink Line-California station will validate findings from a completed community-driven walkability assessment and advance built environment interventions near the California Pink Line stop.
  4. Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) at the Blue Line-Logan Square stop will engage 10 youth to conduct a walkability study and create an action plan to inform Chicago Department of Transportation’s redesign of the Logan Square traffic circle, as well as foster walkability and a sense of belonging for families who live in close proximity to the Logan Square Blue Line Station.
  5. North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council (NLCCC) at the Blue Line Kedzie-Homan station will engage high school students, cultural leaders, and North Lawndale residents to conduct a walkability assessment and to create a subsequent action plan to address existing barriers to walkability.
  6. South East Chicago Commission (SECC) at the Green Line 51st, Garfield, and/or Cottage Grove stations will expand their Community Grant Program to fund at least one high-visibility project focused on neighborhood beautification and environmental improvement near the selected CTA stop(s).

Fourteen community-based nonprofit organizations in Chicago were the first recipients of grants from Elevated Chicago and Enterprise Community Partners – funding earmarked for a range of equity projects near transit stations toward strengthening racial equity, prosperity and resiliency in neighborhoods.

Capacity-building grants

A total of $330,000 in funding was awarded to community development organizations to build their capacity, advance transit-oriented development and carry out affordable housing activities that address the needs of low-income households.

    1. Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation and LUCHA, to advance affordable housing developments and community engagement around the Blue Line’s Logan Square station
    2. Garfield Park Community Council and IFF, to lead real estate efforts and community engagement activities around the Blue Line’s Kedzie-Homan Square train station and the Green Line’s Kedzie station
    3. Latinos Progresando, to lead community engagement and stakeholder collaboration around the Pink Line’s California station and to advance the development of a community center along Cermak Road
    4. Preservation of Affordable Housing and Neighborhood Housing Services, to advance stakeholder collaboration, housing initiatives, and business incubation efforts around the Green Line’s 51st Street 55th Street and Cottage Grove train stations

Activation grants

A total of $100,000 in funding was awarded to nonprofit organizations for projects to create awareness, learning opportunities, community participation and public interest around the Elevated Chicago mission of promoting more equitable, healthy, sustainable, and culturally vibrant communities at and around the prioritized transit stations.

    1. Beyond This Point Performing Arts Association, to present percussion performances, and interactive percussive games in and around the Blue Line’s Logan Square station
    2. Black Girls Break Bread, to create focused and nuanced programming to promote the social and emotional wellness of Black women and girls at all seven transit stations
    3. Latinos Progresando, to launch ACTivate Marshall Square, a collaborative, multi-faceted community engagement strategy that includes beautification, movement, and creative, conservation-focused activities for children and families that live and work around the Pink Line’s California station
    4. Openlands, to encourage residents to improve their community’s health and climate residency by hosting a tree planting within a half mile of the Pink Line’s California station, and provide technical assistance to community-based partners
    5. Safer Foundation, to implement a program to train participants as cultural docents and create custom woodworking designs culturally specific to communities near the Blue and Green lines’ Kedzie stations
    6. Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA), to dedicate public space for a community-driven mural honoring Latinos and to introduce phase 2 of the initiative by convening food cart vendors for a social event on the plaza outside the entrance to the Logan Square Blue Line station
    7. University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life, to partner with the KLEO Center on two program series that will build a strategic community coalition to activate Garfield Boulevard between Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Michigan Ave near the Green Line’s 55th Street station
    8. Urban Juncture Foundation, to present a series of planning dinners and unique celebrations to promote equity and wellness among residents who live near the Green Line’s 51st Street station