There are many severely underutilized spaces under the elevated tracks throughout the city.
The Lakeview Chamber of Commerce wants to do something about that on at least one block in its Lakeview Area Master Plan.
During the planning process, researchers noted that Lakeview contains only 0.2 acres of open space per 1,000 residents, while the ideal ratio is 2 acres per 1,000 people. They also noted the empty space under the Brown Line, from the Southport station to Paulina.
And, as the plan architects wrote:
“The Low-Line was born. The proposed path would connect the once
dissociated shopping streets of Lincoln and Southport Avenues, while
increasing available open space to residents. The Low Line would
feature new native landscaping, solar powered lights, semi-pervious
walking surface, and above all, a space for the local community to
interact away from traffic. In true urban form we have developed an
efficient layering of uses, in this case two different forms of
transportation. A little slice of nature in what used to be an
Here’s a drawing illustrating the ideas. Click on it to view a bigger size.