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We are excited to announce that our parklet project is a candidate for Ford’s Community Grant. Designed in collaboration with Studio Murmur, the parklet will provide a green oasis complete with seating, planters and an herb garden in the heart of Andersonville. Vote for our parklet this Saturday and Sunday at Chicago’s Green Festival on Navy Pier, which will have free yoga, and homebrew classes, among other sweet-looking activities. With this additional funding, we could fuel seasonal plantings, park seating and the seedlings of future parklets. Check out our official renderings above and below this post. Hope to see you there!

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moss green architect parking day

Three years ago, we held Chicago’s first PARK(ing) Day in Lakeview, where we transformed a few parking spaces into a fun, public green space for a summer day. Now, we, along with eco-Andersonville and the Andersonville Development Corporation, are excited to announce a semi-permanent iteration of PARK(ing) Day: a parklet in Andersonville at Clark and Farragut. Parklets, which are popping up all over the world (SF tour, here), are mini urban retreats, complete with plant life and seating areas. They provide more green space in the thick of cities, which often lack communal places to sit and watch the world go by. Watch the video, learn more about the project, and support our kickstarter here. We’re gathering funds for seasonal plantings, park seating and future parklets, three of which are in the works in the coming years.

Prone though Chicago is to crazy weather indecision, a March this sunny exceeded our expectations. Not that we didn’t already skip over a winter that was predicted to create a mass exodus from the Windy City this past season (we’re still here). We keep hearing about record-breaking temperatures all over the map, but we want superlatives this afternoon. So, what was the coldest Chicago winter day? And how did this one stack up?

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Today marks the one year anniversary of the Lakeview Area Master Plan (LAMP) reveal. During the research phase of LAMP, the number one feature Lakeview residents expressed need for was more public space. One of our suggestions was to create the LowLine, sprucing up the currently dingy path below the Chicago Brown Line’s tracks with native plants and solar lamps to connect and beautify the neighborhood. More inside.

Last week, we revealed the initial designs for new public open space at 3400 North Paulina Street (formerly a tire repair shop, and now a vacant lot).  First mentioned in the Lakeview Area Master Plan, public open space at this site would attract shoppers from outside the neighborhood to the street and provide a gathering spot for local residents and shoppers.  During our research for the master plan, Lakeview residents ranked the need for more public open space as their top priority for the neighborhood. It outranked safety, parking, shopping options, and every other category by a wide margin. Open space at this location responds to that desire while creating a new public plaza and park at the Paulina Brown Line station.  Furthermore, open space at this site will surely help to make the rest of Lincoln Avenue more desirable to retailers and residential developers. (There are 5 other vacant lots within 1 block of the Paulina station and many underdeveloped properties.) It should also be obvious the inhospitable nature of residential units directly adjacent to an El platform. Doors closing, Southport will be next, doors open on the right at Southport. Oh, sorry, excuse the interruption.

Best of all, this is a project you can help make happen! Take this one question survey to support the plan for open space at 3400 Paulina.

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We are reclaiming urban public space for people on PARK(ing) Day, Friday, September 16, 2011 from 9am to 5pm.  The designed “PARK(ing) spaces”, metered parking spaces converted into temporary green parks, will be located in front of Southport Grocery, 3552 North Southport Avenue.  The ‘park’ will feature a bicycle repair station, live music, and a lawn for dining and enjoying the day.

In 2009 and 2010, moss Design converted parking spaces into temporary public space, which will be expanded this year to highlight the need for bike infrastructure and open space in Lakeview.  Earlier this year moss Design unveiled a sustainable master plan, prepared for the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce and SSA 27.  Part of the plan was a call for more unique and accessible public open space.  This year’s PARK(ing) Day theme is a “Bicycle Comfort Station” featuring free food, live music, bike parking and repair, and relaxation areas.  Think of it as the mini-mart of the future.
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I came across this cool (and nerdy) Chicago SSA comparative map we put together for the LAMP project.  Discovery: Wicker Park-Bucktown SSA is huge.  Enjoy.

Moss reveals the Lakeview Area Master Plan to the Lakeview community and Chicago.  The master plan, in its entirety, is available here.

The Lakeview Area Master Plan (LAMP) will be revealed tonight, but there is one element that I think deserves special attention.

When research began on the project we were out surveying neighborhood inventory, like bike racks, streetscape environments, facade conditions, and public space.  After investigating we found that Lakeview contains only .2 acres of open space per 1000 residents (The ideal ratio is 2 acres per 1000 people).  This notion was reinforced during the public open houses and interview sessions when residents cried out for more public open space.  So where, in a dense, developed urban neighborhood do we find available land for public space?  We thought, let’s look for space on top of things and under things! Read the rest of this entry »

Six months of data collection, design, and hard work have been completed… the Lakeview Area Master Plan will be released to the public.  We will be presenting the plan Tuesday, March 15, 7p-9p at St. Luke’s Memorial Hall (1500 West Belmont Avenue) .  RSVP here.  Sneak peak renderings inside. Read the rest of this entry »

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