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Community resources

These Chicago-area organizations are helping communities across the city create great places. Learn more about their work by contacting them and visiting their Web sites.

Community groups

Archi-Treasures (773-772-4416)
Archi-treasures is an arts-based community development organization offering services to community partners who are committed to a participatory process of planning, designing and building public spaces for community use.
Chicago Public Arts Group (CPAG) (312-427-2724)
Operating on the belief that community public arts projects strengthen communities, CPAG engages residents in the design and implementation of pieces of public art that reflect the social and cultural values of the community.
LISC/Chicago (312-422-9550) 
LISC/Chicago coordinates financial capital and resources to aid community projects. It also works with community groups to build and maintain relationships with city officials, and co-sponsors the New Communities Program— a five-year initiative in 16 Chicago neighborhoods to support comprehensive community development.
NeighborSpace (312-431-9406)
NeighborSpace works with community groups that are interested in creating and maintaining open space in their neighborhoods. It provides assistance with issues such as ownership, funding, materials, and technical assistance.
Openlands (312-863-6250)
An independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving open space in northeastern Illinois, Openlands accomplishes its mission through three program branches: Greenways, Policy, and Urban Greening, as well as a special initiative program, Corporatelands. Openlands also works with CorLands, an affiliate organization to help communities in northeastern Illinois increase the quantity and quality of open space for public enjoyment
The Trust for Public Land: Chicago Office (312-750-9820) 
For the last 10 years, the Trust for Public Land's Chicago Office has worked diligently with public agencies and citizen organizations to plan for future. The Trust for Public Land's Greenprinting, Natural Areas, and Urban Parks programs assist government partners and communities with prioritizing land for protection, finding funding sources, and acquiring land for parks and open space that are sorely needed in many parts of the Chicago region.

Community programs

Chicago Transit Authority: Arts in Transit (1-888-YOUR-CTA)
This initiative pairs the Chicago Transit Authority and Department of Cultural Affairs in providing more artwork at CTA rail stations. The two agencies successfully partnered to select artists and artwork for eight renovated Blue Line CTA stations, and six renovated Red Line stations, and are currently completing 18 renovated Brown Line stations.
Chicago Transit Authority: Adopt-a-Station (1-888-YOUR-CTA)
Through the Adopt-a-Station program, the CTA partners with communities to create distinctive station designs and ensure ongoing community maintenance of the design.
City of Chicago: Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS)  (312-747-9987)
CAPS brings the police, community, and other city agencies together to identify and solve neighborhood crime problems, rather than react to their symptoms after the fact. Problem solving at the neighborhood level is supported by strategies, including neighborhood-based beat officers; regular Beat Community Meetings involving police and residents; training for both police and community; efficient use of city services that impact crime; and new technology to target crime hot spots.
City of Chicago: Department of Housing and Economic Development, Special Service Areas (SSAs) (312-744-8356)
SSAs are special tax districts that are allowed to use tax dollars for the benefit of those being taxed. Much like an association fee, these dollars can be used to amplify services already provided to the city. Past projects include marketing campaigns for neighborhoods, parade and festival funds, and small-scale capital improvements for local businesses.
City of Chicago: Department of Transportation Streetscape and Sustainable Design Program (312-744-3600)
Working with community groups, CDOT initiated the Chicago Streetscape Program to beautify and enhance commercial districts.
City of Chicago: Department of Transportation, Open Space Impact Fee (312-743-3600)
When a new development takes place in the city, there is a certain amount of land the developer must leave as greenspace. If the developer cannot provide for it, they must pay what is called an 'open space impact fee.' The money from these fees are used by the city to increase green space and recreational facilities for the neighborhood residents.
City of Chicago: Mayor's Landscape Awards (312-744-8691)
Every year, the city recognizes residents and businesses in Chicago that help to beautify their neighborhoods through landscaping. The awards are open to all residents of Chicago, and nomination forms are available on the Web site.
Percent-for-Art Program (312-742-1164)
Since 1978, Chicago's Percent-for-Art Program has funded the installation and maintenance of the city's vast collection of public art, such as the Picasso in Daley Plaza, and "The Bean" in Millennium Park.

Mural painted on Chicago Loop stairwell

Dancing in a Chicago plaza