This is the work we intend to accomplish between 2022 and 2024. These priorities were developed by and with Elevated Chicago’s Working Groups, Community Tables, Steering Committee, Leadership Council and staff.
We will continue supporting neighborhood residents, business owners, and people who work within the half-mile radius of transit hubs.
Neighborhood-based Community Tables bring together diverse residents and organizations such as housing co-ops, non-profit developers, churches, schools and health providers. Tables inform strategies and priorities for their equitable Hubs or eHubs (the half-mile radius around transit hubs) using Elevated Chicago’s capital, programs, policies, narratives, data and technical assistance. For example, the Logan Square table is successfully advocating for affordable housing units, public art and gathering space.
Knowledge is power. Besides supporting Community Tables, we will continue working with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and the Regional Transit Authority to include residents in planning efforts in our Logan Square and Washington Park eHubs. And, we’re continuing the Equitable Development Ambassadors program, a ten-week initiative to demystify how places are built in Chicago by giving residents the know-how to influence neighborhood development.
We will support financing and business models for development that bring wealth to community residents. In Logan Square and Hermosa, we support the Here to Stay Community Land Trust, which purchases properties to sell to low- and moderate-income buyers from the area. We will help our partners build grocery stores (95th/Dan Ryan eHub), community venues (Kedzie-Homan eHub) and food halls (California Green eHub), all of them owned by community residents.
We will continue transforming the built environment in the half-mile radius around transit assets such as Chicago Transit Authority and Metra stations and CTA and Pace bus corridors to create vibrant, healthy, equitable and resilient communities.
We invest capital and provide technical assistance to brick-and-mortar projects that lead to a more equitable built environment, positively impacting public health, climate resilience, and arts and culture.
We will continue supporting business incubators in Washington Park, community centers in Little Village, affordable housing for people with disabilities in Homan Square, and many more projects, including the City of Chicago ETOD pilots and housing developments across the city. New homes, art venues, small businesses: you name it. If it is community-led, fights displacement and is near transit, we want to be there for it.
Station areas should be vibrant spaces full of art and culture rooted in community. We will continue investing in campaigns activating empty lots with art and positive programming (Kedzie-Homan eHub), gathering spaces reflective of the community’s culture (like La Placita at the Logan Square eHub), and roller rinks and plazas (Pulaski eHub). Our Green Line South Community Table has acquired a mechanical lift, the “Elevated Lift,” to allow muralists to safely access high walls. This means more murals across the city by artists previously hampered by paying for major equipment rental.
Safe and welcoming streets free of violence, sidewalks and viaducts that guide all residents, regardless of ability, to key services and amenities nearby, and spaces where pedestrians are first. These traits are how we define walkability. At the Kedzie-Lake eHub, the Garfield Park Community Council will continue promoting streetscape and infrastructure improvements. At the Kedzie-Homan eHub, residents are working for infrastructure improvements along the Homan Avenue corridor. More communities will join them.
Healthy and climate-resilient spaces
Black and Brown communities disproportionately have too many vacant lots, too few trees, and too few places to catch stormwater runoff, leaving them vulnerable to climate catastrophes.
We will support the Green Line South Community Table’s Terra Firma project to stabilize, beautify, and environmentally remediate vacant lots, using sunflowers and other plantings. We will continue helping the Kedzie-Lake Community Table’s work with the City to build the Garfield Park Eco-Orchard, which will include fruit and nut trees, a gathering space, and will divert 90,000 gallons of stormwater from local streets, sewers, and basements. And we will support new, nature-based solutions in up to four eHubs to ensure our transit assets, and our communities, are protected against climate change.
We will continue advocating for more accountable, transparent and inclusive decision-making in public, private and civic organizations responsible for major investments in the built environment and infrastructure.
ETOD Policy Plan implementation
Chicago’s new ETOD Policy Plan has been collaboratively developed by Elevated Chicago; the Mayor’s Office; the departments of planning and development, housing, transportation and public health; the CTA; developers; and leaders from community and citywide orgs. We’ll continue to co-lead the working group tasked with implementation.
Advancing equity in local government
We’ve teamed with the Metropolitan Planning Council to create a JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion) cohort of rising City of Chicago leaders exploring ways to integrate JEDI principles into city planning. We will share lessons learned and continue building the City’s capacity to lead an equitable recovery through ETOD, We Will Chicago, INVEST South/West, and other programs.
Meaningful community engagement and ownership
Our Community Engagement Principles and Recommendations were updated for greater adoption by people and organizations making built environment decisions.
Federal ETOD policy
Through our national network and funders at SPARCC (the Strong, Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge), we’ll continue advancing an ETOD policy agenda across federal agencies.
Advancing public sector funding for place-based work
Our advocacy helped lead the passage of the City of Chicago’s 2022 budget, which includes $10.2 million for ETOD and an allocation of $800M in affordable housing near transit. We will advocate for more resources to ensure that ETOD flourishes across Chicago.