Finding Daniel Burnham / Finding Community
10.19.09 | Teens at YouMedia were given a challenge: read Daniel Burnham’s “A Plan for Chicago” and create your own digital urban plan. They took that challenge and ran with it, all the way to the United Nation’s World Habitat Day celebration.
A Plan for Chicago is not exactly an easy read, but the teens at YouMedia, with the help of mentors and library staff, dug in. When the reading got too dense, they did what they do best—they googled Burnham. What they found inspired them to team up and create a their own urban plan for their communities. They walked their neighborhood streets with a critical eye, interviewed residents, and came up with plans to reuse public space to build community, just as Burnham had imagined.
The winners of the Digital City Planner Competition were chosen to travel to Washington, DC, for the United Nations’ World Habitat Day celebrations on October 8. For some it was the first time on an airplane. For others, it was the first time in the Capital. For everyone, it was a chance to realize the power of their imaginations and talents.
Watch the video by Spotlight’s Ben Wolff, which captures the essence of the project.
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