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Let's Put More Garden in "City in the Garden"

By Rachelle Bowden in News on Jan 25, 2006 5:31PM

You know how Chicago is so dang proud to be the City in the Garden? The Urbs in Horto? Well, did you know that LA has more than 2x as much parkland as Chicago and NYC, the freaking concrete jungle, has 3x as much? Guess we're not doing as great as we'd like to think. What can we do about it? How about starting by investigating the evolving conditions of public space in Chicago, from large spaces like 2006_01_city_garden.jpgMillennium Park to the development of streets and gardens in the neighborhoods. In a new exhibit called "OPEN: New Designs for Public Space," the Chicago Architecture Foundation does just that.

Using architectural renderings, photographs, and models, OPEN begins by recalling key moments in the history of Chicago's public spaces: the park and boulevard system of the late 19th century and the early 20th century's Burnham Plan. Then it goes on to show how Chicago's turning underutilized industrial properties into parks, as well as how they're bringing down Cabrini-Green and replacing it with traditional urban streets of apartment buildings and row houses. The exhibit directs the public's attention from well-known public spaces like the lakefront to often-overlooked inland spaces in neighborhoods. In addition, OPEN includes 20 contemporary public spaces around the world to give us some global perspective.

So how can you see this exciting exhibit? OPEN: New Designs for Public Space will be available for viewing from 9:30am - 6pm daily at the ArchiCenter in the Santa Fe Building atrium at 224 S. Michigan Ave from January 28 - May 7. And did we mention it's free?

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