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6/28 - Planning a Utopia: South Loop Walking Tour (CM | 1.5)

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

Despite being one of the city’s original neighborhoods, the South Loop has been rebuilt so many times that today it is a curious hodgepodge of architecture and a testament to decades of public policy.

The tour will explore how Printers’ Row was ground zero for innovation that helped create the skyscraper and Dearborn Park’s transformation from a derelict rail yard to a model urban village with lofty socioeconomic goals. We’ll tackle how redlining and the 1909 Burnham Plan contributed to the area’s decline, how “urban pioneers” helped transform the South Loop, and current trends that are challenging the area’s live ability. We'll examine ideals from decades past and modern developments that are yet again transforming the area.

Explore the South Loop’s colorful history and its transformation from a notorious vice district to an area famous for it’s booming development. Learn about the hidden histories of vice and immigration, of glitz and glamour, and see some of the city's grandest architecture.

Meet us at the Harrison Red Line CTA Station to explore this and more as we tackle hard-to-answer questions about how to plan a utopia. This FREE event is brought to you by Jane's Walk Chicago in partnership with APA-IL’s Diversity Committee. Questions? Please contact Marcella Bondie Keenan, Diversity Chair at

Thu, June 28, 2018 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM CDT

Meet at the:

Harrison Red Line CTA Station 608 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605 Chicago, IL 60605

(CM | 1.5 Pending)


Debbie Liu is an activist, researcher, and South Loop resident. Debbie works to empower Chinese Americans through civic engagement and community development. Her interests are in health in all policies, anti-gentrification, and protecting ethnic enclaves from displacement. Vitaliy Vladimirov is an urban planner, 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. Jane’s Walk Chicago invites Chicagoans to walk and envision a Chicago that is healthy, vibrant, and just.

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