Teens Developing Urban Design Skills While Improving Their Neighborhood | Chicago News

A bunch of teenagers within the Austin space is studying how architects and engineers work in an effort to enhance their neighborhood.

Alongside Chicago Avenue, the scholars are working collectively to renovate their neighborhood by way of city design.

Keishjuan Owens, 22, is a program supervisor intern with Territory, a youth pushed nonprofit instructing college students city design. He’s working with youngsters to design components aimed toward uplifting the Austin neighborhood.

“They really get the expertise to grasp that that is actual life and we are able to truly make a change, and particularly if there’s extra of us change can occur quicker,” Owens mentioned. “So I feel the sense of neighborhood is certainly beginning to make them open up and respect each other and be optimistic for the longer term.”

The challenge is a part of the town’s INVEST South/West initiative and led by the Chicago Division of Transportation. The initiative works with quite a lot of companions to revitalize marginalized communities. Territory’s challenge will concentrate on designing new outside areas on Chicago Avenue from Austin Boulevard to Cicero Avenue.

“So, it’s a Streetscape enchancment for the roadway,” mentioned Chris Wolf of Civic Tech Engineering. “Meaning changing the sidewalk, changing curbs, changing the lights so it’s a brand new aesthetic therapy for the hall to provide it a pleasant trendy really feel and we’re working with the neighborhood to permit them to place their very own contact on it.”

The imaginative and prescient is to rework a strip of Chicago Avenue to Soul Metropolis Hall, a business strip supporting Black companies and neighborhood engagement. Territory’s blueprints are targeted on creating protected areas for younger individuals to host outside pop-up markets and trend reveals.

“I simply need to see all people in my neighborhood get collectively to make the neighborhood look higher. I imply we’re all pondering the identical factor,” mentioned Jacara Walker, a scholar participant.

Walker is without doubt one of the individuals at Territory working to design peace circles, that are outside seating areas targeted on encouraging unity.

“There’s lots of people in my neighborhood struggling in silence and I really feel just like the peace circles will give individuals collectively,” Walker mentioned. “Strangers or individuals that you just would possibly know, you possibly can come and sit down and speak about something you need to speak about.”

College students get hands-on expertise working alongside architects and engineers. Isobel Araujo, a program supervisor at Territory, says this system empowers teenagers to be the change of their neighborhoods.

“Seeing younger individuals discover energy and their voice, whether or not that’s presenting in a neighborhood assembly or constructing a design vocabulary together with her friends, or simply occupying area in public…,” Araujo mentioned. “It actually makes me really feel proud.”

Owens says the challenge is greater than only a makeover however a chance to interrupt generational patterns in his neighborhood and concentrate on individuals working to make the realm a greater place.

“My final objective is to create a generational formulation that everybody within the neighborhood can observe it doesn’t matter what your position is within the neighborhood and have the ability to construct a beloved neighborhood,” Owens mentioned. “I need us to be identified for issues which are very a lot tradition associated very a lot us, as individuals. To cease altering the adverse stereotypes as Black individuals.”

As soon as the scholars’ proposals are finalized development is ready to start this yr.

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