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About one-third of all work trips in Chicago are comprised of people biking, walking, or riding public transit.

'Microparks' promote neighborliness

One way to get to know your neighbors is by inviting them to have a seat in your front yard.

/That’s the philosophy behind a project in the Calumet Region that is bringing “microparks” to the front yards of interested homeowners. The microparks consist simply of a concrete pad and a park bench, possibly combined with a planter and a sign describing the project.

By the end of this month, there will be a total of 54 benches installed across the region: seven in Highland, nine in Gary, six in Hammond and 32 in East Chicago.

Homeowners who have had benches installed report that they’ve received plenty of use, improving the experience for pedestrians in the neighborhood while spurring conversations among neighbors.

Check out the recent article that appeared in Active Trans’ Modeshift newsletter about this unique approach to strengthening neighborhoods and encouraging friendly conversation. There’s also a recent article in the Gary Post-Tribune.