Welcome to the People Spot for Albany Park: a place where people from the neighborhood can meet a neighbor or hang out and relax.
A “People Spot” is a social space for people to gather and interact. People Spots take over street parking spaces on commercial streets in Chicago neighborhoods. They are permitted through the Chicago Department of Transportation “Make Way For People” program, and are design to last several years. People Spots are free and open to anyone, but are typically located in areas with lots of shops as an amenity for pedestrians. Chicago’s People Spot “season” is May 1 to November 30.
Albany Park’s People Spot has been designed, planned, and engineered for permit by teenagers in Territory’s design team programs. Our urban design team started with concept development in summer 2016. Our Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 teams handled community engagement, schematic design and design development. Our Summer 2017 design-build interns did construction drawings for permit. The people spot is constructed out of simple materials: wood decking, paint, stain, chain link fence posts and fence hardware. The design is modular so that it can be easily assembled, moved and reconfigured by young people, and fit to different sites in our neighborhood.
After three pop-up community engagement events, the team focused their design on the concepts of play, hanging with friends, meeting a stranger, and chilling. We want the people spot to be a place where neighbors can meet, young people can relax, and where our design teams can host special events for young people and their families.
In September 2017 over fifteen volunteers helped us cut, drill, stain and paint all the people spot modules. In December we assembled the whole people spot indoors for the first time, using a timer to help us create a quality assurance plan for our debut installation.
In fall 2018 the team surveyed the site and established an installation plan. In spring 2019, the Albany Park urban design team installed the people spot with help from Skender and a crew of volunteers.
From May through November, 2019 the people spot was open to the public. It is now in storage, ready to be installed in 2022 with the support of the Albany Park community!
This project is supported by the City of Chicago Year of Public Art 50×50 Neighborhood Arts Program. The people spot is permitted through the City of Chicago Department of Transportation’s Make Way For People Program. The design team’s architecture and engineering partners include Goodfriend Magruder Structure LLC, CannonDesign, Open Hand Studio, and Canopy a + d. Our youth-led fabrication of the people spot modules was supported by a Collaborative Action Grant from Enterprise Community Partners.