Book Inspires Young People to Create ‘No Small Plans’ For Chicago

Fostering civic engagement among Chicago’s young people is no small task, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation has “No Small Plans” to tackle it.

“No Small Plans” is a new graphic novel spearheaded by the foundation and members of its Teen Academy. It weaves the history of Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago together with the neighborhood issues of the city’s past, present and future.

Joining Chicago Tonight for a discussion about the book and about CAF’s plans to distribute thousands of copies to young people around the city are Gabrielle Lyon, vice president of education and experience at the Chicago Architecture Foundation and one of the book’s co-authors; and William Cryer, a fellow in the Architecture Foundation’s Teen Academy who was part of the group of teens who helped create “No Small Plans.”

Below, an excerpt from “No Small Plans” opens on Chicago’s 606. One of the novel’s teen protagonists, Natalie, has just learned that her family is being evicted from their apartment in one of the gentrifying neighborhoods along the park. Natalie, her family and friends, struggle with the news.

  • (Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation)

    (Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation)

  • (Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation)

    (Courtesy of the Chicago Architectu(Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation)re Foundation)

  • (Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation)

    (Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation)

  • (Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation)

    (Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation)

  • (Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation)

    (Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation)

  • (Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation)

    (Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation)

  • (Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation)

    (Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation)

The Chicago Architecture Foundation published “No Small Plans” as the centerpiece of its “Meet Your City” initiative in partnership with Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Public Library, and with support from the American Planning Association. The graphic novel was created by Gabrielle Lyon, Devin Mawdsley, Kayce Bayer, Chris Lin and Deon Reed.


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