Bridging States: Chicago Ward 37 Renewal
Concept focuses on healing underserved community by “stitching together” two divided parts
The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) and UrbanLab invited Legat and 49 other design firms to participate in the “Between States” exhibition. Each design team set out to transform one of Chicago’s 50 wards into a community anchor.
Ward 37 marks one of the most impoverished and underdeveloped areas in Chicago. Its rail line and industrial corridor (the length of five football fields) divide the Austin and West Garfield Park neighborhoods, both of which have high crime rates. The divide reduces pedestrian activity and restricts residents from goods, services, and each other.
The Legat team’s solution, titled “Bridging States,” stitches the ward back together to make it a walkable and pedestrian-friendly node of activity. It injects new gathering spaces, job training programs, and live/work scenarios around the elevated rail to encourage safety, learning, and interaction.