The Burnham Plan Centennial - Bold Plans, Big Dreams

Calendar & Projects

Urban Planning & Design

Ongoing Initiatives

Unity Green at Gill Park

The Elements Group

Unity Green at Gill Park is a unique modern sustainable park concept in the Uptown area of Chicago, created to promote unity and social interaction between different socio-economic, racial and cultural groups. The construction of Unity Green is expected to commence in the spring of 2009. [MORE]

CMAP'S GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)

Population in the seven counties of metropolitan Chicago is expected to reach nearly 11 million by 2040. To accommodate these 2.8 million new residents, our region has some urgent decisions to make in the very near future. Should rapid growth outward continue? Or should we consolidate housing and jobs where infrastructure already exists? Should we emphasize roads or transit — or invest in both? How can we reduce energy use while also strengthening our region’s economy?

Burnham Island Restoration

Graceland Cemetery

Graceland Cemetery will restore the landscape design of Burnham Island, attributed to Ossian Cole Simonds, Superintendent of Graceland Cemetery during the time of the development of Burnham Island, as the place of interment for my Burnham and his immediate family.  

Graceland Cemetery has also partnered with the Chicago Architecture Foundation to offer special tours of the Burnham Island on Saturday, August 1 and Saturday, September 12, 2009. Additional tours my be offered. [MORE]

Building of the Chicago Lakefront Guidebook

Illinois State Geological Survey

This guidebook will describe how the Chicago lakefront was built, the role that the Burnham Plan played in the lakefront development and the coastal geology at Chicago that made the lakefront construction feasible. It will consider the coastal erosion that would have plagued Chicago if the lakefront were not engineered. The guidebook will also address the future geo-engineering challenges and opportunities along the lakefront. (Summer 2009) [MORE]

Visions for the Future

Illinois Institute of Technology

The Systems Course at IIT's Institute of Design  will charge five teams of graduate design students to project the future for Chicago and, by extension, major cities around the world. The teams will explore the new and powerful forces, both destructive and constructive, that confront cities and society.

Virtual Burnham Initiative

Lake Forest College

Lake Forest College’s Virtual Burnham Initiative (VBI) will transform key elements of the 1909 Plan of Chicago into 3-D models accessible through the ever-popular Google Earth. [MORE]

The Built Environment: Hands-on Activities for Kids

Chicago Children's Museum

A family-friendly curriculum to introduce elementary engineering and architectural concepts will be available on CCM’s website in 2009. The Built Environment includes easy-to-follow instructions and sample videos to allow a facilitator to involve families (with children 5 to 8 years of age) in engaging hands-on activities that spark interest and expand knowledge. The goal is to enable children and adults to forge a deeper understanding and appreciation of the built environment in which they live. [MORE]

Beachfront Interpretive Signage and Boardwalk

City of Waukegan

The City of Waukegan will develop a beachfront boardwalk and interpretative signage project under the open space legacy category. It reflects the first phase in the beachfront restoration process which will advance new open space preserves of regional significance, and increase public access to the lakefront. The first-stage physical project will protect the parking lot and the bathing beach. The City's consultant, Conservation Design Forum, has designed a concept plan freaturing an access boardwalk with split rail fencing and interpretative signage.

Lake County Regional Framework Plan: Public Service Announcements

Lake County Planning, Building & Development

The Lake County Planning, Building & Development department has produced four public service announcements to promote its Regional Framework Plan. The PSAs are being shown on local cable channel LCTV, to keep the plan on people's minds and to keep it relevent.

Follow the links below to view a series of short videos highlighting the legacies of Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett, Sr. in Lake County's regional planning efforts of today.  [MORE]

Building Our Economy: Transportation for a New Illinois

Chicago Metropolis 2020

Chicago Metropolis 2020 used the Burnham Plan Centennial to launch a comprehensive campaign to change the way we look at, plan for, finance and manage transportation in Illinois. The premise of its report is that transportation infrastructures and services must be built and operated to enable and support the Illinois economy of the future [MORE]

Leaders for Industry

LEED Council

In conjunction with other Local Industrial Retention Initiative (LIRI) organizations of the Chicago Department of Community Development (DCD), on May 27, 2009 the LEED Council  launched a planning process for the future of Chicago's industrial corridors and planned manufacturing districts (PMDs) in conjunction with the Burnham Plan Centennial. [MORE]

Burnham Memorial Competition

AIA Chicago

This invitational competition supported by the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust will result in a lasting memorial, constructed from the winning design, to honor the memory of Daniel Burnham and his Plan of Chicago, show the importance of his work, and provide inspiration for the future. Two exhibits and a catalog of all the entries are also planned.

To view the winning entry by David Woodhouse Architects and other entries, click here. [MORE]

Invent the Future Workshops

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)

CMAP invites you to have your say at a GO TO 2040 Invent the Future workshop. With interactive software and keypad polling, attendees will express preferences about real-world choices that will shape the GO TO 2040 plan—and the future of our region.

To accomodate 2.8 million new residents expected by 2040, our region has some urgent decisions to make in the very near future. We can'ts solve everything at once, so it's all about trade-offs: [MORE]

The spatial moment of power: urban design proposals for the Chciago Circle Interchange

Illinois Institute of Technology

This historical moment demands that we leverage the urban potential of Chicago's rise to the center of international attention. In this urban design studio, we are envisioning the center of Chicago as a center of the world- what the sociologist Saskia Sassen has called a "spatial moment of power." Our site for intervention is the Chicago Cirble Interchange. We have taken three events as a starting point for our studies: [MORE]

Reinventing Public Investment: Better Choices for a Better Chicagoland Lecture Series

Metropolitan Planning Council

To what extent do investment decisions made in Washington, D.C. affect the Chicago region’s economy and built environment? If we want cleaner air, ample supplies of water, and better connections between jobs, homes and transit, what changes do we need to make to the way our public investment dollars are used? [MORE]

Waukegan Open Space

City of Waukegan

Waukegan’s plan for transforming its downtown and lakefront is like a modern-day Burnham Plan. [MORE]

GO TO 2040 Kiosk

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)

How do you think we should plan for the future of northeastern Illinois? Visit the GO TO 2040 Kiosk located at the southeast corner of the Chase Promenade South and have your say! The kiosk is available for use during park hours, through October 30, 2009.  For  complete list of the 22 locations hosting the GO TO 2040 Kiosk, including Millennium, Union Station, the Chicago Architecture Foundation  click here. [MORE]

Community Discussions: What's Next?

Chicago Public Library

Eleven Chicago Public Library locations will host community discussions featuring facilitators whose insights into the Plan of Chicago and related topics will bring added depth to the conversation. Using Carl Smith’s book, The Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City--the Fall 2009 selection for One Book, One Chicago--as a launching point, these programs will ask: How has the city been shaped by our needs these past one hundred years and how will it evolve in the next one hundred? What’s next? [MORE]

Seminar: Reading the Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham’s Civic Vision

Newberry Library

Donald H. Whitfield, Director of Higher Education Programs at the Great Books Foundation, leads this five-week seminar. The Plan of Chicago (1909) was based on the conviction of its principle writer, Daniel Burnham, that citizens can intervene in the rush of unplanned urban growth to re-direct Chicago’s physical structure, creating conditions conducive to humane and prosperous living.

Recognizing a Global Resource: Vision for the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Region

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

If Daniel Burnham were alive today, he would recognize the importance of the Great Lakes and the need to protect this unique resource and the cities adjacent to its waters. [MORE]

Community Conversations

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)

GO TO 2040's regional comprehensive planning campaign, scheduled for completion in 2010, seeks active citizen participation. CMAP seeks to better understand the everyday experiences of our region's residents by opening up these conversations on a local level. Community Conversations are being held in conjunction with partner organizations throughout the region. At these gatherings, we are asking residents about preferences for preserving and enhancing our region's high quality of life. [MORE]

Community Showcase Tours

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

The Bold Plans, Big Dreams Community Showcase program is a collaborative, capacity-building program designed to generate local pride and build momentum for implementing bold plans in Chicago's diverse neighborhoods. [MORE]

The Plan of Chicago: A Regional Legacy

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

Learn about the Plan of Chicago — the conditions that prompted it, the major recommendations, its implementation and its legacy in this highly illustrated booklet available for download or on-line viewing [MORE]

The Burnham Plan Centennial
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