Update: The City attempted to present the draft Action Plan to the Chicago Plan Commission in April 2018. However, the plan was postponed due to community concerns about affordable housing and wanting to see the next steps of the Action Plan initiated before approving the plan. Although the draft plan has not been officially adopted, the City is actively continuing to take next steps in the Pilsen and Little Village communities, in collaboration with community leaders, based on the Action Plan.
Pilsen and Little Village are thriving urban neighborhoods located in Chicago's Lower West Side and South Lawndale community areas, respectively. While each neighborhood has its own unique history, culture, assets, and challenges, the two areas also share many similarities. Both play important roles as vibrant centers of Mexican life in Chicago and the region. Both serve as important job centers and have a significant portion of their land designated for industrial activity. And both share similar goals for the future. Among others, these include: improving and expanding access to parks and open space; expanding housing options; and promoting sustainable business and retail development.
Pilsen and Little Village each have strong networks of community-based organizations with long histories of working towards these goals. The City of Chicago's Department of Planning and Development (DPD) led an effort to draft an action plan that builds upon each community's valuable assets, as well as past and current planning efforts, in order to complement and continue this work. Like DPD's previous Land Use Strategy, the Pilsen - Little Village Action Plan explores issues and opportunities for the key land uses found in both communities, including parks and open spaces, housing, commercial, and industrial uses. It establishes goals, identifies and prioritizes opportunity areas, and outlines strategies to achieve these goals. The Action Plan will be presented to the Chicago Plan Commission for adoption and will help guide decisions and public and private investments for years to come. CMAP provided staff planning support through its Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program and contracted with the Pilsen Neighbors Community Council (PNCC) and Enlace Chicago to provide community outreach and engagement assistance in Pilsen and Little Village during the planning process.
The planning process included three phases. The first phase involved an analysis of the existing conditions within the communities using information gathered through review of previous studies, collection of maps and data, and stakeholder interviews. Phase two focused on setting goals and priorities based on findings from community workshops and the phase one analysis. The final phase builds on previous phases to develop recommended policies and create the Plan.