The Little Village Mixed Use (LVMU) project aims to redevelop a large portion of post-industrial land located along the edges of one of Chicago’s oldest and fastest evolving neighborhoods known as The Little Village. Home to a predominantly low- to middle-income Latino population; the LVMU project aims to identify typologies in planning, urban design, and architecture as a vehicle for positive socio-economic impact.
Conducting a series of quantitative and qualitative planning exercises and community interviews, this site was identified for its linkage between current community development priorities and land availability. A master-planning program was established alongside community organizations and volunteering planners to include residential, light commercial, and institutional use.
Working closely with UIUC faculty in a range of academic fields (including Urban Design, Architecture, Sociology, and Community Development), a set of urban design techniques were established, prioritizing community development planning strategies and cultural/environmental stewardship. These themes became the organizing tools for establishing architectural typologies (i.e. air filtering courtyard buildings, year-around-use public plazas, neighborhood market spaces, solar-oriented building planning, streetscape gateways/symbols, and others). In result, the LVMU project becomes a catalyst for cultural and environmentally driven planning efforts in the Little Village, simultaneously serving as a template for effective neighborhood planning efforts in Chicago.