i've seen this on two different blogs now. being a native chicagoan, i can't emphasize enough the IMMENSE satisfaction i get from seeing this organized widespread appropriation of exisiting Chicago Housing Authority ads to counter and criticize the their plans for "transformation" which is the bigges euphemism i've ever heard. those not from chicago or not up on public housing history...should know that there was about 30 straight blocks of public housing approaching downtown from the black, i mean, south side of chicago about half of which was high-rises. in 1997 when i was doing public allies, and working in the grand boulevard/bronzeville area in stateway gardens community doing youth development, organizer training at centers for new horizons , small business development training through mid-south planning and development and WSEP and supposedly doing public health education as a part of our team 'service project' i came to love this community and this issue struck me deeply. it was really heating up even back then. we were trying to figure out how to extend the scope of our "public health" project to include housing voucher education and tenant advocacy. right before i left 2 years ago 90% of these buildings were completely razed. i've been back about 4 times since 2003 and everytime, i'm speechless and damn near brought to tears when i see the vast expanses of vacant land and all the corny ass supposed "less dense" 'mixed-income' development planned. WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE??? where did they go? i would get freaked out back then when i would run into a family in one of the eleven homeless shelters i was working in that i had just met at Stateway weeks or months before...now i can't imagine where all of them are. this is pure Chaos indeed. my experiences in homeless shelters and public housing were a large impetus in my interests in architecture...wanting to design truly affordable well designed housing for the people who need it most. but i'm getting to the end of architecture school and it sometimes just seems plain frivolous. advocacy and organizing seem to be more of a vehicle to solving this problem than architecture. there are so many emergency housing needs that architects are doing nothing en mass to address. there's no doubt, that having such concentrated spanses of public housing and the condition that it was in was extremely problematic but just whole scale destruction of people's homes, history...lives...that is just wrong.


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