- Learning about Neighborhood Identity, Streets as Places, and Community Engagement in a Chicago Studio Course
- Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy
- Penn State University Press
- Volume 27, Number 2, 2017
- pp. 142-157
- View Citation
- Additional Information
ChicagoLAB is an intensive summer program consisting of an interdisciplinary team of undergraduate and graduate students. Participants are expected to fully engage and collaborate on a community project where they can put into practice their architectural, planning, and design skills while they reflect on and demonstrate an understanding of the cultural, socioeconomic, and historical forces that shape neighborhood identity. By engaging with community leaders, residents, and experts, students develop a community-driven strategy. This article explores the methodologies that students used, such as case studies, on-site observations, and community participatory practices associated with creating a street design or public art project. Examples of the latter include "Paint the Pavement" projects (painting on the road) and parklets (seating or green areas in parking spaces for public use) that promote safety as well as a neighborhood sense of place. Placemaking—that is, giving an identity to public spaces—activities were associated with maintaining Puerto Rican identity in Humboldt Park, a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in Chicago.