3 Design Proposals for a Chicago development- Are any of them any good?

Jeremy Wolff


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  • Comment author
    Rodney Rutherford

    I'd be hesitant to be to that prescriptive. In particular, I'm a bit concerned about the prescribed single-use buildings. As Jane Jacobs noted, achieving a fine-grained diversity of uses is critical to realize the vibrancy and resiliency that is so critical for cities. While it's difficult to legislate/require that diversity, I certainly would not want to setup rules that prohibit it. Focus on identifying where the public spaces should be, and then establish rules that nurture fine-grained development along the public realm. Ideally this can be done while preserving some existing buildings/businesses/residents, as building any neighborhood all at once is highly risky and leads to fragility.

  • Comment author
    Christopher Grgich

    100% agree wtih what Rodney is saying above. It's not super clear in these images, but I think I see a floor of commercial and community space on the bottom of the residential buildings. Overall, it really comes down to what you're looking for most. I don't know Chicago well, but in Seattle, we're really struggling on affordable homes for purchase, so I really like the "Courtyard" option that minimizes parking and maximizes the homes for sale. As far as layout though, I definately prefer the "Passage" option, because it greats a throughblock passage which should be vehicle free space for bikes and pedestrains, first floor retail, maybe even some sidewalk cafes, etc. However the gateway maximizes the amount of housing construction, but with more of it going to rentals. This might be okay, if a portion of those rentals are going to be controlled through some low cost housing initiative. Again, I'm not familiar with Chicago, so I can't speak to how effective that can be in the long term. 


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