New plan aims to strengthen the evolving Woodlawn community

Community development that encourages revitalization while discouraging displacement is boosted by the Apostolic Church of God’s New Woodlawn Central Master Plan, a redevelopment scheme commissioned and built around guiding principles that oppose traditional gentrification and problematic.

“There is no way to contain our excitement about how we view the future of Woodlawn,” said Dr. Byron T. Brazier, pastor of the Apostolic Church of God. “When commissioning and drafting this plan, we took into account every nook and cranny and every possible path to lasting greatness. We thought about what it takes to prevent the uprooting of the people who belong here, who have been here for a long time invested in community building.

Located at 6320 South Dorchester in historic Woodlawn, the Apostolic Church of God was launched in 1932. Dr Brazier has since 2008 served as pastor of the 20,000 member congregation, which was previously led by his father, pastor and activist. , Bishop Arthur Brazier, for 48 years.

The iconic history of Woodlawn is a staple of the city’s famous South Side. Among its highly rated residents are playwright Lorraine Hansberry, Illinois poet laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens and many more. It is also home to parts of the renowned University of Chicago campus and the future Obama Presidential Center.

While the region is also rich in history and assets, it has also had its share of social and economic hardships in recent times, including dramatic demographic changes. Without balancing intervention, these changes can threaten its economically marginalized residents.

Woodlawn Central’s master plan has the potential to counteract these dangers. The highlights of the multidimensional plan focus on hyperconnectivity, pedestrian accessibility, improving public transportation, preserving and promoting the neighborhood’s existing assets, introducing new technologies and sustainable infrastructure.

“The Apostolic Church has a long-standing, celebrated and historic connection with the community of Woodlawn,” said Dr. Brazier. “Our strong cultural ties and our passion for the region are central assets and are at the heart of our project. We have the firm intention of contributing to the growth and evolution of the neighborhood. It is also our home and we consider it with passion.

Woodlawn is also the focus of the City of Chicago, through its Planning and Housing Department, for revitalization and reinvestment, with a particular focus on the Obama Center Project and the University of Chicago. The city adopted the Chicago Plan Commission’s Woodlawn Plan Consolidation report last year in May. The plan is an amalgamation of various community plans created by nonprofits, neighborhood groups and other parties for the community of Woodlawn.

James C. Tibbs