Methodology and Parameters:
Mapping My Steps Through Chicago’s Public Space
In my action/research-based project, in addition to analyzing Chicago’s city plans and how they align with place-based education, I explored how educators may effectively utilize the participatory democratic educational space in their local neighborhoods as “critical,” thereby transcending purely “monumental” aspects of public art. Because of the potential vastness of my task since Chicago’s cityscape is littered with public art, I restricted my inquiry, geographically limiting my research to the same two primary areas I had explored in 2009, areas I still frequent today: Jackson and Lincoln Parks, which were both included in the original 1909 plan.
 When Burnham’s Plan was first proposed, Grant Park and the Loop were still underdeveloped. It addressed effective transportation, proposed a city center that would have included a massive domed city complex, and encouraged Chicago to extend the park system along Michigan Lake, a visionary goal later implemented by Mayor Richard Daley. Burnham also envisioned Chicago Riverfront to be part of the system of parks, a proposal that has received a recent revival of interest. See my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-75094274/. The project was included in the 2012 plan as an initiative to “Elevate and expand neighborhood cultural assets” (Final, p. 28). For a list of CPS neighborhood schools and their locations, go to: http://www.cps.edu/Schools/Find_a_school/Pages/Findaschool.aspx.