2020 brought challenges that we had never had to deal with before. Life was seemingly normal until about March, when COVID-19 hit the US. Public gatherings were deemed dangerous. Offices shut down and shifted their employees to remote connections. Social spaces closed their doors. Restaurants, gyms, bars, community spaces, and other “third places” were removed from being an option. We didn’t realize how long this shift would last, yet alone imagine the consequences that it would later have on us.
Our wellbeing became at risk. Anxiety and depression were present and rampant before COVID-19, and they became even more dangerous in a pandemic-filled world. Things that would typically ease people’s anxieties and lift people’s moods were now off-limits. We needed to pivot, and we needed to do it fast. Luckily, the seasons shifted in time for us to utilize the nice weather to our advantage and re-create third places outside, where it was safe.
...allowing more space for people to safely exercise?
What if we repurposed the streets for people...
Traffic barrels let drivers know that they're on a designated Slow Street
Automobile thru traffic is highly discouraged
Vehicles yield to pedestrians, bikers, and runners on the street
Dispersed barrels prevent cars from speeding down the street
Taking a bike ride down a Slow Street
The summer temperatures in Chicago allowed for outdoor activities to comfortably take place. Additionally, the less automobile usage also encouraged the main function of streets to change to be more pedestrian-friendly. However, after summer we began to wonder what will happen in the cold months?
The temperatures are dropping and a new wave of COVID-19 cases is on the rise. It was important to us to continue to come up with solutions for the winter. Although the City of Chicago encouraged residents to come up with ideas for winter restaurant dining, we wanted to focus on other areas.
We believe that providing safe outdoor activities and exercise options this upcoming winter will allow us to stay healthy, both physically and mentally.
Healthy, fresh food is critical for one's wellbeing. A group of folks from northeast Oak Park came together and decided that Oak Park and surrounding communities needed something new: a full-service, co-op grocery store that would provide a neighborhood source for local, sustainable, healthy foods and a way of connecting farmers and producers to their customers.
Wellbeing is the state of being comfortable, happy, and healthy. Having a safe home with all of the essentials is critical to one's wellbeing. What are the elements of an essential home? How can we create a minimal design of a home that provides happiness to its users?
In addition to Sugar Beet, the Fresh Moves bus is another option for a community to get fresh fruit and vegetables. The Fresh Moves bus provides produce to underserved areas on the south and west sides of Chicago.