Downtown Beautification: Chicago

September 27, 2013 6 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Metro Jacksonville takes a brief visual tour of this city's street scene in an effort to find applicable lessons for Jacksonville's downtown revitalization efforts: Chicago

Chicago's Downtown Beautification Efforts

While many cities have focused their downtown revitalization efforts around adding businesses and big infrastructure projects, Chicago's Mayor Richard M. Daley decided to take a different route in 1989. Mayor Delay's administration decided to make the city an attractive place that would draw human talent.

Soon a massive downtown beautification effort was launched to transform the gritty city into one featuring lush streetscapes, flower gardens and pristine parks.  Since that time, over $5 billion has been spent improving Chicago's sidewalks, streets, and parks.

The results have been pretty remarkable.

The Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile is a section of Michigan Avenue, running between the Loop and the Gold Coast. Featuring over 3 million square feet of retail stores, restaurants, museums and hotels, it's Chicago's largest shopping district.

Not everyone has agreed with the plan to beautify Chicago's streets. Local publishers originally protested the city's plan to lump all newspapers into single modern vending boxes.  In the end, the publishers lost.

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