Community-Led Brownfield Redevelopment in the Little Village Neighborhood

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Brief Overview of What We’ve Done

In 2012 Delta Institute (Delta) and the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) collaborated with eight multi-sector stakeholder groups as part of the Fisk and Crawford Reuse Task Force. Appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the task force was formed to collect community input on future uses of two large brownfield sites in Chicago: the former Fisk coal plant in Pilsen and the former Crawford coal plant in Little Village. During this six-month process, both Delta and LVEJO recognized that while the former Crawford site was a significant and complicated brownfield site, Little Village was home to many other brownfields that create economic stagnancy and blight. Redevelopment of these sites, including the Crawford site, held significant potential to bring commercial or industrial businesses and local jobs to Little Village as well as to increase the amount of green or recreational space for residents. With the goal of promoting economic
development, revitalization and environmental justice in the community, Delta and LVEJO initiated a two-year partnership in late 2013 to create the Little Village Vacant Property and Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy (Strategy) to guide the redevelopment of brownfield sites in Little Village.

Our collaboration led to a comprehensive redevelopment plan (linked below, along with our Executive Summary) for 10 brownfield sites that existed in the neighborhood. Our planning included site-specific redevelopment opportunity sheets (or “lookbook” sheets), accompanying preliminary environmental reviews, reuse strategies, and an appendix of all assessments. 

Partners reviewed existing local and regional planning documents that applied to Little Village conditions (at the time) to ensure that project efforts were informed by broader planning efforts. Please review key documents and deliverables related to this scope of work:



Our Efforts resulted in LVEJO and Delta being a Chicago Prize (2020) Finalist

Through a robust partnership between the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) and Delta Institute, our collaborative of environmental justice and community organizations are working to increase economic empowerment, racial equity, and food access in Little Village—impacting (hundreds of) thousands of Chicagoans. Our goals focused on creating a new community hub, called the Centro de Solidaridad Mi Villita, that will provide the local neighborhood with the means to create a robust local economy based on solidarity and self-determination. ​This project was a Finalist for the first Chicago Prize, the $10M award competition held in 2020 by the Pritzker Traubert Foundation, and although we did not win the competition, we remain committed to a sustainable future for Little Village. Since we were a Chicago Prize Finalist, our project is part of the Bold Solutions Network, an initiative of Lever for Change, a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation affiliate.

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Future Exterior
Ground Floor Interior
Future Ground Floorplan
Future Zocolo Space
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Future Arts Engagement and Campaign Space
Little Village: Home to 100,000+ Chicagoans

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