Constructing spaces that foster community growth and connection is crucial to creating a sense of belonging that leads to stronger, more resilient communities. Clayco’s partner company, Lamar Johnson Collaborative, has done an excellent job building beyond these walls into the neighborhoods where we operate to deliver PopCourts! – a “small plaza that turned into a movement” – which won an Honor Award in Urban Design from the 2023 ASLA Professional Awards.
This is a great honor and an important recognition, demonstrating the innovation that can be sparked when people pour their passions into projects. The 7,000-square-foot development on Chicago’s West Side is a basketball court and an outdoor community plaza. The space hosts food trucks, farmers’ markets, and seasonal vendors. It is also decorated with colorful murals by local artists that feature influential leaders like Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, and Maya Angelou.
PopCourts! is the perfect example of how public spaces can revitalize communities. This project has become a case study and source of inspiration for the “Public Outdoor Plaza” program (“POP”), which has committed to financing ten additional community plazas in historically underserved neighborhoods.
By relentlessly pursuing innovative ideas, LJC brings fresh perspectives and captivating concepts to various developments and communities. I look forward to seeing how the team continues to strive to enhance the lives of residents and their accessibility to arts, culture, and nature.
Emily Sisson and I have something in common, and it’s not just the fact that we both love athleticism.
Immigration has always been a critical point of value in America’s prosperity. The “American Dream” would not be possible without the contribution of generations of immigrants to society, not to mention the priceless importance of multiculturalism. Despite this, the rhetoric surrounding immigration and its influence on U.S. institutions and ways of life has become increasingly hostile and rooted in misinformation. I recently read the book “How Migration Really Works: The Facts About the Most Divisive Issue in Politics” by Hein de Haas. I highly recommend it to everyone to better understand migration policies and national impact. As we get farther into this election year, debates surrounding immigration are escalating. Still, people don’t understand the fundamentals of migration or how it truly affects the U.S. To mitigate this, Hein de Haas draws on decades of research to destroy myths and set the record straight. The book highlights tense topics like global migration not being at an all-time high, climate change not leading to mass migration, and immigration mainly benefiting the wealthy instead of workers. He also notes that border restrictions have produced more migration – something that is commonly misreported and viewed as the only “solution” to the migration “problem.”
When our Clayco team finds a company that mirrors our mission and determination, we fortify that partnership by pooling resources on as many projects as possible. Vision Electric & Systems is one of Clayco’s excellent subcontractors that we have had the pleasure of working on several developments with. Subcontractors play a pivotal role by bringing multifaceted advantages and expertise across construction efforts.