A new blueprint to be unveiled Saturday hopes to bring a “renaissance” to Austin by improving the lives of West Side residents. Austin Coming Together will release the Quality of Life Plan at Michele Clark Magnet High School, 5101 W. Harrison St. The new report, completed in partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, outlines some grand visions but offers no cost estimates. LISC has helped produce 27 Quality-of-Life Plans for other Chicago communities since 2005. Besides Austin, LISC partnered this year with groups in North Lawndale and Hermosa/Logan Square. Logan Square and North Lawndale were the subject of similar plans over a decade ago, but this is the first such report for Austin. The report focused on six issues: economic development, education, housing, public safety, youth empowerment, civic engagement. A seventh area of the report, called the “community narrative,” looked at how to “revitalize the image and spirit of Austin.” To do that, it suggested, among other things, investing in local arts, creating a social-media campaign and increasing local healthy food options. The report noted that nearly half the independent grocers in Austin don’t sell fresh produce. Meanwhile, the report estimates, Austin residents spend $159.5 million every year at… Read full this story
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