SHED Studio partnered with CUT (The Center for Urban Transformation) to assist the Englewood community in Chicago with a planning process to flesh out goals around Food, Fitness and Health in defining the Quality of Life in the neighborhood. This process was part of the New Communities Program which has been initiated by LISC in various neighborhoods in Chicago.
The planning process was led by the local CDC, Teamwork Englewood, and engaged a wide variety of people within and outside the neighborhood in an interactive conversation to generate ideas, obtain valuable input and to build consensus around various Early Action projects that would seed the overall concept, and energize future efforts and projects. The planning process was conducted over a series of on-site workshops in Spring and Summer 2008 that included visioning, data gathering, goal setting and strategy identification. A work-plan document and schedule was developed at the end of the process and local sub-committees were formed to continue to meet regularly and further develop the plan.
The most valuable aspect was that the planning process was initiated from within the community, and hence led to ideas that represented the reality in a more accurate manner than other plans generated from outside experts.
This project also provided SHED with a unique opportunity to develop a creative and strategic partnership with CUT, an organization which has always been an advocate for, and a participant in, the creation and implementation of projects meeting the community’s quest for food access and food security, and in creating jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for the neighborhood.