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Reimagining Chicago's Emerald Necklace as a Green Constellation

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Earlier this winter, the design journal MAS Context and the Chicago Architectural Club launched the NETWORK RESETcompetition, instructing contestants to dream up a scheme to "reactivate and reset the Boulevard System of Chicago." Yesterday, the winning entry was announced: Emerald Necklace Constellation by by Kees Lokman, Fadi Masoud and Conor O'Shea. Instead of focusing on the boulevard system itself, the winning entry turns away from it and advocates converting former industrial land into parks. The plan calls for "reconditioning abandoned swaths of industrial property and their associated connective infrastructure such as rails and canals for new uses." Central to the plan (or at least the renderings) is the 62-acre wilderness on the east side of the Chicago River, between 18th Street and Roosevelt Road. During the boom, Tony Rezko's Rezmar Development sought to build a mega-development anchored by an Ikea on that site, but the former rail yard still sits vacant. The Emerald Constellation plan would convert that land and the development site north of Roosevelt into parkland. Just to the south and west of that, the team envisions paving over a section of the Dan Ryan Expressway and capping it with a green roof. Follow the link below to view the runners-up.
· NETWORK RESET: Rethinking the Chicago Emerald Necklace [MAS Studio]