Wabash, one of the most recognizable streets in Chicago, has the opportunity to be completely transformed by you. Yes, you! The iconic street that's mostly known for being directly under the "El" was once a popular destination for commerce and activity. Chicago Loop Alliance, with the help of Civic Artworks, has begun their unique process of opening up ideas on how to transform Wabash into a Chicago hotspot once again, and you can be a part of it.
What's unique about Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA)'s process is that the ideas can come for the citizens and people that live in the neighborhood, not just city planners. They use the three step process of generating ideas, generating analysis, then creating the plans and illustrations.
First, the Brainstorming Stage is opened up to the people. You can log in and post your idea on their page. You can also peruse the other ideas that are being offered. This creates a discussion where people can really bounce idea off one another and come up with some beautiful ways to transform Wabash.
Second is the Generating Analysis Stage. During this stage, the ideas that were put online in the first stage are looked over and a growing crowd of neighbors, leading practition- ers, civic leaders, and developers can support them.
The third and final stage is Creating Plans and Illustrations. This is where Civic Artworks uses their talented staff to create plans on see thru how these ideas will come into fruition, what it would cost, and how to get it done. Hopefully these plans and illustrations will inspire action and Wabash will be transformed.
Right now you can log onto the Transforming Wabash page and put some of your ideas for how to improve the street! Some great ideas have already been brought forward, like a "Food Truck Rodeo" which with the elimination of some parking lanes, food trucks could line up and offer the people of the East Loop some great eats.
Another popular idea is to make the areas surrounding the el tracks on Wabash a hanging garden for the el to ride through and offer train goers a spectacular view. This would be a unique way to add a little nature in a very industrial looking part of the city. Other ideas also like to keep it gritty, and to even go back to the Chicago's roots and cobblestone the street!
People have a say in how their city looks and the best ideas are brought forward to the city. So list some ideas and see if you can put your artistic fingerprint on Wabash Avenue. Be sure to check out more of these great ideas and comment on the ideas that have already been offered!