South works redevelopment study : a vision for South Chicago

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Peterson, Patrick L.
Motloch, John L.
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Thesis (B.L.A.)
College of Architecture and Planning
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This study brings together issues in contemporary landscape architecture as well as current social and environmental problems into a redevelopment study for a site in Chicago’s southeast side. The design problem at issue is the redevelopment of the former United States Steel South Works facility in South Chicago. Permanently closed in 1992, the facility represents 112 years of industrial history in Chicago’s southeast side. Of the major movements in contemporary landscape architecture, three areas have been chosen as a focus in this design project. These areas include environmental reclamation/ restoration, regenerative design and revelatory landscapes. The South Works site provides an excellent opportunity to incorporate these issues into its redevelopment given the rich industrial history and a chance at creating a more sustainable community model compared with the non-equitable resource use of the site’s past. Compounding the physical restrictions of the site are the social problems that have always been an issue in Chicago’s southeast side. The continued expansion of industry in the area, along with its high rate of employment made it a friend of the community. However, as factory’s started to close, jobs disappeared. The once abundant social cohesiveness went with these jobs while poverty and other social problems crept in. Ultimately, this study attempts to create solutions to the social and environmental problems left by an industrial remnant while integrating three main areas of landscape architectural theory that will come together to create a design that will attempt to bring back hope for a bright and prosperous future to the people of South Chicago.