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Chicago, IL

Avondale is located on the northwest side of Chicago, and its entire east side is in contact with the river, yet there is little interaction. Factories mostly border the river.
For more statistics, Avondale is top tier in Chicago’s “park-poor” neighborhoods, from research conducted by Chicago Tribune. This resulted from the building of the Kennedy Expressway. A possible and obvious idea to increase interaction along the river is creating more parks! This is a win-win situation and allows for the community to have more green space and for interaction with the river. There obviously poses some issues as people own property on the river, but an alternative would be generating community support so that it is actually possible to create a park. Consequently, it would also be good exposure and allow people to be aware of and utilize the park that they’ve helped create. Currently, as appeal in this neighborhood rises and plans of three two-story condominium buildings are being made, the necessity for green spaces increase. People naturally want to have access to nature, and as more people, families, move in, supply must be equal to demand.
Which brings us to our next concept--an idea that is currently happening--the construction of homes along the river. It would be advantageous to bring more attention to this, and the problem lies in lack of information about the great things that can happen with a river and its people! By creating homes by the river, it fosters a thriving community of people who care about the river. In fact, entrepreneurs have also taken note of this trend. Metropolis Coffee is establishing a brewing facility in this neighborhood. This can inspire other “hip” restaurants that will attract people, even those not in Avondale. It can increase connectivity amongst the river and be a hotspot for tourists, thus also increasing revenue for the city of Chicago.
But lastly, transportation. People cannot access the river and its recreational activities if they can’t get to it. Public transport stops closer to the river would encourage people to go to the river. By establishing clearer access points, it definitely benefits in people’s experiences with the river. This could possibly be done with collaboration with the Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA) as they manage our public transportation.