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Website Helps Residents Buy $1 Vacant Lots

It was big news in Greater Englewood in March when the City of Chicago announced that it would begin apilot Large Lot Program that allowed nearby homeowners, block clubs and nonprofit groups to buy vacant lots for just $1. 

But the application deadline is April 21 and there are a lot of steps in the process, from identifying the available lots to establishing eligibility and then filing the application.

Now there's an app for that.

It's a website, actually, a step-by-step guide to the whole process.  was conceived by Demond Drummer at Teamwork Englewood, built "in a few days" by the civic tech programming firm DataMade (thanks to Derek Eder, Forest Gregg and Eric van Zanten!), and funded by LISC Chicago with support from the Boeing Corporation.

The project is an outgrowth of LISC's Open Gov for the Rest of Us project, a Knight Foundation-supported effort to help neighborhoods apply government information to local needs. The LargeLots map was built using open data from Chicago and Cook County, including Chicago - City Owned Land InventoryChicago - Wards, and Cook County - 2012 Parcels.

See the April 15 presentation about at the OpenGov Hack Night.

How became a reality, on Chicago Public Data. Demond Drummer and Aysha Butler were interviewed on WBEZ's Tech Shift.

Read the Columbia Chronicles storyLocal hackers raise awareness through community-focused websites.

Large Lots was featured on ABC7 News on April 9:

Learn more at, on the Teamwork Englewood website, and on the Metropolitan Planning Council blog.

Posted in Civic Tech, Englewood


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