Ravenswood People Spaces Project

The Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) and Special Service Area (SSA) #31 created a series of permanent "People Spaces" in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood.

In late 2020, the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce issued a Request for Proposals for the design and construction of a series of new “People Spaces” around Ravenswood. Using funds allocated by Special Service Area #31 for placemaking and neighborhood improvements, GRCC led a year’s-long project that will see the creation of four new People Spaces. Construction on the first three finished in late 2022, with the fourth set to be completed in spring of 2024.

Lawrence & Hermitage

Design Elements

  • Multi-level seating offers place to dine, rest, and play
  • String lighting adds warms and whimsy
  • “Peace Wall” provides buffer to Lawrence without disconnecting the space from the community

Plants

  • Calamintha nespeta ssp. Nespeta
  • Echinacea ‘CBG Cone 2’
  • Allium ‘Summer Beauty’
  • Schizacharyium scoparium

Wilson & Ravenswood

Design Elements

  • Includes interactive art and play space for kids
  • Repurposed stone slab seating mimics other seating areas along the Ravenswood Industrial Corridor
  • Now home to a Little Free Children’s Library crafted by local youth

Plants

  • Calamagrostis x acutaflora ‘Karl Foerster’
  • Sesleria Atutmnalis

Montrose & Winchester

Design Elements

  • Curved plant beds and linear bench seating
  • Painted concrete matches angled metal fencing
  • Provides outdoor dining space for adjacent restaurants and cafes
  • Showcases the mural, A Squirrel Named Penelope

Plants

  • Juniperus chinensis ‘Kallays Compacta’
  • Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walkers Low’
  • Sesleria Autumnalis
  • Liriope spicata
  • Allium sphaerocephalon

Ravenswood People Spaces: Project Overview

People Spaces Logo

Placemaking design initiatives, such as people spaces, can help connect neighborhoods and commercial streets into socially cohesive places by creating new, vibrant community hubs. The Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) and Special Service Area (SSA) #31 have initiated a design process to create a series of permanent people spaces in Ravenswood.

GRCC has commissioned The Lakota Group, a Chicago-based urban design and landscape architecture firm, to design and implement a series of “Ravenswood People Spaces.” Working with the Lakota Group design team, we are exploring Ravenswood’s many assets and placemaking needs to identify locations and develop several community-gathering spaces along many of the neighborhood’s key commercial streets.

Well-designed People Spaces facilitate community interaction, support economic development and local businesses, visually enhance our urban environment, narrate a neighborhood’s history, and invite residents and visitors to explore and enjoy a community. When completed, these spaces will create a cultural network that strengthens the connection between people and the Ravenswood neighborhood.

Examples of People Spaces can include, but are not limited to:

  • Informal Seating Areas
  • Outdoor Dining Areas
  • Small Plazas
  • Pockets of Green Space
  • Parklets

Questions about the project? Please contact our office. Amy, our project manager, looks forward to your input and feedback.

Concept Renderings Gallery

Project Timeline

The People Spaces design project aims to implement gathering spaces by the end of 2021. This process focuses on three main phases:

Phase 1:

Program Development

February – May

GRCC and the planning team will analyze existing conditions, explore project scope, and engage with stakeholders to establish a strong foundation.

Phase 2:

Design Development

May – August

Based on the analysis conducted, GRCC and the design team will explore People Space design options to enhance the district.

Phase 3:

Implement

September – December

In the final phase, GRCC will implement People Spaces with the planning teams guidance. Completion is expected by the end of December 2021.

Documents and Resources

Our team will post documents as they are ready. Stay tuned!

Public Feedback and Engagement

Community engagement was a key component of our design process. This helped to ensure that the People Spaces cater to the needs of the Ravenswood neighborhood, including residents, business owners, property owners, and visitors.

As part of this initiative, GRCC, SSA #31 and our design team undertook a meaningful and inclusive public participation process to get valuable input and feedback on the locations and design ideas. Over the following months, the design team facilitated a series of engagement activities to help shape each location.

Want to be among the first to know about project updates and new People Spaces?

Be sure to check the box for “Ravenswood People Spaces Updates” to get information specific to this endeavor.

Questions about the Ravenswood People Spaces project?

Send us your questions about existing Ravenswood People Spaces, or tell us where you'd like to see a new one!

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GRCC (501c6) and RCC (501c3) are Not-For-Profit Organizations.

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