Sunday Parkways Chicago
Streetfilms contributor Nicholas Whitaker went to Chicago to see how thousands of Chicago residents learned what happens when streets turn into parks for Sunday Parkways on Oct 5th and 26th.
By closing down over three miles of parkways to cars for four hours, the event allowed people of all ages and walks of life to step into the streets and experience the richness of these neighborhoods in a more livable way.
Spanning from Garfield Park, through North Lawndale and Little Village, participants danced, rode bikes, played games, exercised, walked, talked and enjoyed the beautiful weather. After years of hard work, the organizers of this even were able to bring together community groups and citizens to put on this beautiful experiment in livable streets. Here is to an even longer and more frequent Sunday Parkways Chicago next year!
All: [00:08] Sunday
Here you go.
Jaime De Leon:
[00:28] We’re having Sunday Parkways for the second Sunday here in
Chicago, first time ever, beautiful neighbourhood of Little Village.
And so we’re just out here, you know, enjoying the beautiful weather
we’re blessed with and enjoying the streets and, you know, providing
an opportunity for families to get out, walk, bike, just having a great
time. The boulevards are closed for about three and a half miles
up till Garfield Park, plenty of activity stations along the route.
We’ve got huge skate ramp, basketball hoops. We’ve got lots
of art activities going on, massages. The main stage over here
we have a [unintelligible 01:06] musical group called [unintelligible
01:09] and it’s been great.
[01:20] This is beautiful. People from Little Village and North
Lawndale, it’s just like black/brown communities coming together and
enjoying the day. Especially for us I think in Little Village,
it’s a really young population. We’ve got about 100,000 people
and of that half of them are under 25. So I mean this is Little
Village, right. You’ve got the skaters out, you’ve got people
doing their graf work, teaching the shorties how to break-dance.
It’s really cool.
Frank Gross: [01:52]
I think it’s a great event. I’ve been working with the Bicycle
Federation and the folks from there and the other organisations, and
very happy to see that it’s got off the ground this year. I
know they’ve been trying for a long time and it’s a great way to
bring the people out in the streets and take back the streets for the
people, give the cars a break and we’ve had some wonderful weather,
and I love the participation from everyone.
Rey Colon: [02:16]
Well, you know, this is the best thing since sliced bread, except with
this event you get to burn some of it off. It’s really a way
of linking our communities together on a grassroots level, building
cultural understanding. I would love to see the entire Emerald
Necklace have this activity take place every Sunday afternoon in the
city of Chicago.
[02:36] I had the opportunity to travel to Gualala with a group to see
how they did this event in Gualala. It was very impressive with
what they did, the level of city support they had, and the fact that
they were actually able to bring people out to celebrate their neighbourhood
and do it in a physically active way.
Gil (Guillermo) Penalosa:
[02:54] So I think that this is also a very nice beginning. But
I think that it really lacks city support. I think that it doesn’t
make… I think the community organisations should be spending their
efforts into helping organise and helping promoting and get more community
engagement, and not taking care in so much effort in trying to fundraise
to pay the city. No-one even in the city should pay for themselves.
Diego Puente Corral:
[03:20] It’s interesting to see how people are working together, volunteers,
communities, authorities, public transit, police, police officers, all
working together to show that it’s possible to get back the city to