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Thu, May 03


Belmont CTA Station

Planning for Enclaves - A Walking Tour of Boystown

Join the APA-IL Diversity Committee and Jane's Walk Chicago for a FREE walking tour that explores the hidden history of Chicago’s gay village and strategies for urban planners to better navigate planning for enclaves - ethnic, cultural, or otherwise. (CM | 1.5)

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Planning for Enclaves - A Walking Tour of Boystown
Planning for Enclaves - A Walking Tour of Boystown

Time & Location

May 03, 2018, 5:30 PM

Belmont CTA Station, 945 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657, USA

About the event

Boystown, synonymous with late-night fun and the country’s first recognized LGBTQ district, is at a cross-roads. As gentrification displaces gay spaces and queer people of color, as wealthy home-owners push out homeless youth, and as strollers grow more common, the neighborhood’s cultural fabric is threatened.

Like the Castro, La Village, Zona Rosa and other gayborhoods around the world, Boystown grew up around gay peoples’ need to escape bigotry and socialize at a time when gay people were shunned, censored, and erased from history. But has today’s broad social acceptance made them obsolete? What function to these enclaves still have? Should and can they be protected via planning or policy?

As gentrification threatens to erase Boystown and other culturally-rich places, what, if anything, is to be done? Can planners protect culture without “Disneyfying” it? But meanwhile, where will the queer youth go?

Because fact is, despite less overt discrimination and many civil rights advances, queer people lack federal protections in housing & employment and sexual orientation and gender identity will be erased from the 2020 Census. Worse, a third of homeless youth are LGBTQ and transfolk face inordinate rates of homicide.

Meet us at the Belmont Red Line CTA Station (rain or shine) to explore this and more as we tackle hard-to-answer questions about how minorities use the built environment and how to plan for enclaves.

This FREE event is brought to you by APA-IL’s Diversity Committee in partnership with Jane’s Walk Chicago. (CM | 1.5)

Due to the popularity of this event, we are limiting the event to 40 guests. A wait list will be formed once we reach this limit. If you have RSVP'd are unable to attend, please be kind and email

Questions? Please email APA-IL Diversity Committee Chair, Marcella Bondie Keenan at


Andie Meadows is a queer femme researcher, photographer, and writer. Her work reveals how women, femmes, and transfolk helped shape Boystown by focusing on lesser-known stories of iconic Boystown locales. She is the founder of radical body positive party series Less is More and co-founder of writing collective The Dining Room.

Vitaliy Vladimirov is an urban planner, queer immigrant, and artist. City Organizer for Jane’s Walk Chicago, his recent projects include gathering oral histories in Uptown, speaking about planning to high schoolers, and organizing walking tours so as to bring planning theory to the public.

Jane’s Walk is an annual, global happening that honors Jane Jacobs’ legacy via citizen-led walking tours in early May to coincide with her birthday, May 4th. Jane’s Walk Chicago invites Chicagoans to walk and envision a Chicago that is healthy, vibrant, and just.

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