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Reinvigorating Englewood, Chicago Through New Public Spaces and Mixed-Income Housing

At the start of the second industrial revolution, Chicago was home to many workers from the Union Stock Yard meat packing industry located in what is now known as the Back of the Yards neighborhood. As business grew, so did the need for housing, leading to the development of a new neighborhood, Englewood. For years, the neighborhood was prosperous and was home to the second largest business corridor in the city. During the Great Migration, much of that changed. Racially Restrictive Covenants forced African Americans to live in the Black Belt, and the eastern side of Englewood slowly transformed, paving the way for the prominently African American community that exists in Englewood today. Inevitably, due to disinvestment stemming from harsh FHA sanctioned policy during the Great Migration, the town began to deteriorate, and has remained in a state of decay for decades. Businesses and residences were abandoned and much of the neighborhood is desolate. The economy is stagnant, and many of the residents remain unemployed. The crime rate is amongst the worst in the city, and gang violence plagues the streets at night. Englewood has fallen victim to many urban ills. The goal of this project is to reverse some of those issues through designing new public spaces and Mixed-Income Housing. In providing the residents of Englewood with safe outdoor recreational spaces, a local source of healthy food, community gardens and markets, equal opportunity housing, job opportunity and social services, the community will be given the tools to repair itself. The question remains: What will attract local residents and small business owners from across the entire neighborhood of Englewood, what will keep them safe? What will keep them connected?