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Underutilized Space in Uptown's Coast

Read about each session!

Urban Ecology: Native ecology including wildlife habitat in Uptown’s coastal zone - Read about the event here!

Cycling Uptown: Using bike rides to benefit health, reclaim public space, and improve access to the coast - Read about the event here!

Urban Agriculture: Farming as infrastructure for human and coastal health - Read about the event here!

Alternative Transit: Transportation infrastructure and how it impacts accessibility of the coast - Read about the event here!

Historic Preservation: Connect past and present through the history of coastal Uptown - Read about the event here!

Mental Wellness & Uptown's Coast: Explore the therapeutic benefits of nature-based recreation - Read about the event here!

Eco-Justice: Citizen participation in community security within the coastal zone - Read about the event here!

Green Infrastructure: Building by design to blend structure and nature - Read about the event here!

Underutilized Community Spaces


On August 29th, 2017, ICA and the Uptown Coastal Initiative hosted the third installment of the Out and About Uptown’s Coast series, Underutilized Community Spaces.


The night started with a conversation about community spaces that we use in our daily lives. By comparing more utilized spaces, such as parks and libraries, with lesser utilized spaces, public roadways and dark skies, the group noted that our assessment of space utility was dependent on whether or not people were using it. Spaces such as beehives and sand dunes provide even more utility to plants, insects, and animals, but the benefit of these spaces isn’t always recognized in a human-centric perspective.


Representatives from Uptown Coastal Initiative, Full Moon Fire Jam, and Chicago Astronomical Society/International Dark Skies Association shared historical and present day perspectives on activating common space in Uptown. Following the presentations, the group took a coastal walk that highlighted upcoming community spaces, the Leland Greenway, the Lincoln Park Honeybee Grove, and a community drum circle associated with the Full Moon Fire Jam. The night ended with stargazing; the group was able to view Saturn and the Moon through a telescope.


With partners:  



About Out and About Uptown's Coast 

Out & About Uptown's Coast partnered with the Uptown Coastal Initiative to raise awareness of Uptown's lakefront and parks through nine experiential, educational sessions that offer attendees rich opportunity for meaningful engagement with the ecology and culture of this Great Lakes coastal community.

The project connected residents, workers, and visitors, and strengthen links between the well-being of the coastal ecosystem and the health and well-being of those who live, work, and visit Uptown’s coast.

Highlighting local expertise and creating a space for diverse attendees to learn about and explore the area together, each session’s unique lens targeted different subjects and circle back to universal accessibility to and stewardship of Uptown’s coast across a spectrum of disciplines.

At the close of Out & About Uptown's Coast, the Uptown Coastal Initiative team created a toolkit highlighting the different approaches taken and lessons learned to help inform future programming as well as participant stewardship and engagement around sustainability in the coast.

For more information about Out and About Uptown's Coast, contact