Gown and Town


Name: Song Zhang

Nationality: China

Institution / Company: University of Pennsylvania


Name: Canbin Chen

Nationality: China

Institution / Company: University of Pennsylvania


-FINALIST of Street of Tomorrow Competition


The relationship between the university and the city is not innate, it is constantly shaped with the development of the times over a hundred years. The site is located at the intersection of the University of Chicago and Woodlawn neighborohoods, one of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. The University of Chicago needs to expand and the community needs various infrastructure updates and social resources. In this regard, can the traditional street space redefine itself as a mediator to stitch the community and campus for better symbiosis?

In the research phase, I used the Three Dimensions & Nine Elements-Sociological Interaction Analysis Model to analyze the interdependence and mutual restriction between the Woodlawn and U-Chicago.

A public island will be implemented in the middle of the street, which is an inclusive public realm anchor that is accessible to all. A north – south street island with a width of 60 feet and multi-modal slow mobility system composed of edge benches, landscaping , rain gardens, seating, and bike racks. A series of east-west walkways layered on the street island connect the first-floor commercial spaces of the apartments on  the front streets and proposed Archipelago Square that can stimulate activities and investment within the community.

Briefly, the Spine Street is taken as an anchor point to create mutualism between the Gown and Town, activating the long-term development of the co-living neighborhood.


#Public scape, #pedestrianization and street front; #Walkability; #Slow Mobility; #Public Transportation; #University-community partnerships; #Collaboration; #Engaged University; #Community integration; #Co-living Neighbourhood; #Urban Generation

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