1. Map the physical assets, nature and social life of a segment of Humboldt Park.

2. Measure the environmental wellness of the neighborhood by testing such things as air quality, temperature, noise, water quality and energy efficiency.

3. Whenever possible, create and use highly visible, innovative mechanisms for recording this information to build interest, dialogue, awareness and capacity.

4. Help better inform decision making by creating visual overlays of this information that reveal connections between the design of the neighborhood, its infrastructure and the challenges that it may face.

5. Develop innovative ways of regularly sharing our findings and work to build interest, knowledge and capacity.

6. Use this information to identify new project opportunities for strengthening the neighborhood and its organizations.

7. Give young designers new skills for evaluating, understanding and working in communities.

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Landon Bone Baker Architects

Information is power.

Working with residents as well as local and national experts, a cadre of talented young adults will help initiate positive change in Humboldt Park through environmental assessment studies, community asset mapping and neighborhood service/design projects. Using high tech sensors as well as self-made measuring devices, interns will extensively record such things as temperature, air quality, energy efficiency and noise throughout the neighborhood and the buildings of our partnering organizations over the course of the summer. By overlaying this data with the mapping of the physical assets, nature, social life and stories that surrounds these spaces, interns will create a holistic ‘snapshot’ of the wellness of the neighborhood as it relates to design. With this information, the interns will identify improvements to the design of the neighborhood and its buildings for improving energy efficiency, comfort and sociability. Shadelab will pro vide the ‘seed’ for creating a model green neighborhood and a unique tool for redevelopment while empowering young adults with the knowledge, and skills for positively changing the places where they live."

How does it work?

Breaking into small multi-generational and variously talented groups, the teams will swap taking morning or afternoon expeditions to map, measure, gather, design and 'do' in the neighborhood. Plotting the location of trees, tracking shadows, recording heat islands, measuring air quality and collecting stories from the many people they encounter along the way, the teams will create a rich map of the assets, challenges and possibilities in the neighborhood. Members of each group will also 'Adopt-A-Building' of a local non-profit, gathering a variety of measurements on a daily basis, which will enable the teams to create a comprehensive neighborhood efficiency and wellness audit of the neighborhood by the summer's end.

Over the fall, smaller expert teams will work to turn these recommendations into action, helping to bring know-how, design, energy and funding to bear on the challenges at hand. It is our hope that this will lead to 'green' improvement projects at the building and neighborhood scale whereby we can 'grow' a local corps of savvy and skilled green builders. In the ensuing months, other labs addressing such things as heat, safety, food, trash, etc. will develop based on the ongoing needs of the community.