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Dream, Build, Play Workshop Helps Residents Reimagine A New South Park

Workshop participants at the South Park Neighborhood Center. Photo courtesy of Place It!

On April 29, James Rojas, an urban planner and artist, held a “Dream, Build, Play” design workshop for South Park residents at the South Park Neighborhood Center. The goal was to use various objects to build and describe their hopes for the neighborhood. Families and neighbors from all backgrounds attended and provided feedback based on the facilitator’s prompts. Below is a few examples of what was heard and created.

Prompt #1: Build your favorite childhood memory.

I remember my home in Chicago as a child. The houses were close together, I remember the street with a small 7Eleven store, the bus station and convenience store.


Playing in the forest and finding a place I thought was haunted and had ghosts in it, later finding out it was a chicken coop. Now whenever i’m scared I remember it is just a chicken coop.


Love of nature, the place I grew up was very green.


Prompt #2: Build an ideal city with your team.

Team 1, “The Sunny City”: The city is centered by a park. There are houses surrounding the park so everyone has access, there is a train system, water and a river flowing through it and the Sun and a slide that Santa likes to ride on.

Team 2, “The Carless Neighborhood”: There are no cars in the neighborhood, a plaza, trees and water, houses, community built preserving the history, cattle, chicken, a small farm, safe for kids to play, ride bikes, forests where people come together to create.

Watch this video to see a breakdown of the workshop and the processes behind each team project. Turn on YouTube subtitles for English language.

For more information about Reconnect South Park, visit

To learn more about our efforts to support this project, visit

Learn more about James Rojas by visiting Place It!

See more photos from the workshop on Flickr.