Tuesday, July 28th

Last updateFri, 01 May 2015 4pm

 About the Project

The Mission: Accelerating Sustainable Initiatives in Chicago’s 77 Community Areas 

Community-based sustainability initiatives are taking place across the metropolitan area of Chicago. These, however, are often relatively isolated activities with limited interaction between them. Though many organizations, foundations, companies, and government agencies have programs and resources to assist local sustainability efforts, many communities are unaware of these opportunities or unfamiliar with ways to access them.

The Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) is the organizing sponsor of “accelerate 77” and created the program in order to increase the role and positive impact of local community actions. Our underlying strategy is to IDENTIFY current sustainability initiatives in all of Chicago’s 77 community areas; CONNECT them with one another to inspire new ideas, practices, self-consciousness and motivation through peer interchange; and COLLABORATE with residents in systematic learning, planning, and collective action.

It is anticipated that the project will thereby ACCELERATE sustainability in a bottom-up fashion driven by practical action, expanded imagination, and greater organizational capacities among local groups. A key part of the accelerate portion of the mission is the emerging Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) which is a diverse, intergenerational group working on a wide vareity of issues in communities across Chicago who are passionate about learning from one another and working across communities for widespread, lasting change.   

Having your profile submitted is a requirement to participating in the city roundtable discussion!

Mark Your Calendar for 2015 CSLN Meetings! 
2015 meeting dates are every other month on the second Wednesday, 4:30-7:30, as always at different locations. Dates are April 8thJune 10thAug 12thOct 14th and Dec 9th.


Round Table with Karen Weigert

On March 23rd, the City of Chicago Chief Sustainability Officer Karen Weigert and members of the CSLN met for a round table discussion. Of the topics the group discussed, the most resonant for all members was establishing productive ways for the City and local community organizations to form collaborative partnerships with one another. At the end of the session, the group agreed to a quarterly round table between Karen, other city officials, and members of the network. The round table series aims to continue the dialogue and bridge the communication gap that often exists between policy makers and community organizers. 


The next discussion is fast approaching and will be taking place at Clarendon Park Community Center on July 17th. Karen will be bringing a representative from the Chicago Park Districts to talk about the parks' different strategies and programming and ways local organizations may partner with them.

If you're interested in joining the CSLN Policy working group, or joining the meeting, please email Seva at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Is It Just Space Series - Do You Feel Welcome Here?

Thursday, July 16th, 5:00-7:00PM

Swedish American Museum

5211 N. Clark St.

Come Join the 'Is It Just Space' discussion series through this interactive event.

The event will feature a viewing of Chicago's Families: Finding Home, an exhibition about the people whose mission was to build a welcoming home for their family in a new environment. Participants will learn about the creation of vibrant communities in Andersonville, Bronzeville, and Uptown neighborhoods. 

Participants will discuss their ideas of what makes a community feel welcoming, and how individuals can make the spaces they interact with feel more welcoming for all.

Event is free to attend, but RSVP is requested!






Is It Just Space Series- 

One by Land, Two By Sea

Transit to Trails: Montrose Harbor

Sunday, July 19th at 10:00 AM

(previously rescheduled due to rain)

Marine Dr. & Lawrence Ave.

 Sandy beaches, songbirds, prairie, architecture, and even a Sunshine Garden! What more could you ask for? Join us by Metra, CTA, bus, or DIVVY, and set out on foot to explore Montrose Harbor and the neighboring community.

 If you have already RSVP'd, you do not need to RSVP again. If you haven't, please RSVP today!



Planning for the CSLN August Meeting

Planning is underway for the next bi-monthly CSLN Network meeting. At member request,  meetings were scheduled for the second Wednesday of August, October, and December. Recently, several CSLN members noted the inability to join on Wednesdays.  We'd like to choose a date to allow for maximum participation. 

 We also know that many CSLN members have exciting events coming up. Are you hosting an event in August? If you are interested in hosting the August meeting alongside your event, contact Caitlin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Find more information about the Just Space series at the CSLN website!