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Mobile Neighborhood Tours add leading edge to future of Chicago neighborhoods

Five neighborhood leaders experienced the journalistic craft of curating audio, photos and links along a tour route to create LISC Chicago Mobile Neighborhood Tours.

The custom-made smart phone application takes visitors on self-guided tours of six unique Chicago neighborhoods. Collectively, the six tours include more than 50 audio tracks, 45 tour stops, nearly 300 photos, hundreds of neighborhood site descriptions and dozens of links to create a full context of the neighborhood for the visitor’s enjoyment and from the community developer’s point of view.

The pleasure tourist can read restaurant and cultural attraction reviews, enjoy neighborhood sites and visit relevant YouTube videos. Community developers and activists can plug into information about history, projects and community building.

The LISC Chicago Mobile Neighborhood Tours are the latest creation by LISC Chicago Community Showcase, which produces cutting edge multimedia by community developers.

A dozen community leaders from Albany Park, Auburn Gresham, Pilsen, Quad Communities and South Chicago created the self-guided tours to six Chicago neighborhoods.

Through the tours, visitors can sample shopping, history, planning, culture and restaurants in neighborhoods online at home or take them on the road through their smart phones.

Visitors will be treated to a vast array of amenities in Chicago’s neighborhoods while hearing powerful stories of community building from the past and present day. Enjoy middle-Eastern food in Albany Park on the North Side to Chicago. Explore the world famous community organizing church St. Sabina in Auburn Gresham. Touch and feel the history of Chicago’s Black Metropolis in the Douglas neighborhood. Get a view of President Barack Obama’s family home in North Kenwood. View the beauty of historical murals and the labor organizing history of Pilsen. Visit the store where Chicago’s “Stepping” movement got its momentum and learn about the labor history of the Steel Mills in South Chicago.

The self-guided tours are designed to be experienced via smart phone — Blackberry, iPhone, Android or any other device — but in the future will also be accessible via Website. Each neighborhood tour features a specialized route showcasing traditional tourist attractions and sites of notable community development projects. Users can follow the assigned route — or improvise their own — on foot or by car by tracking their position through a geocoded function.

Each stop on the tour includes a short audio description, detailed photos and additional information, including videos and links to where tourists can learn more.

The LISC Chicago Mobile Neighborhood Tours were built on the foundation of formal training and hands-on experience neighborhood leaders received when they completed audio-slideshows to showcase their neighborhoods. Tumultimedia provided feedback to tour leaders to polish the audio segments. LISC scribe Sally Duros was project manager and chief content curator.

Participating agencies were North River Commission, Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corp., The Resurrection Project, Quad Communities Development Corp. and Claretian Associates.

Visitors can access the Mobile Neighborhood Tours through the LISC Community Showcase Tour site and from all of our social media channels: YouTube, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter @ChiNeighbors.

We invite you to discuss our LISC Chicago Community Showcase projects by joining our Linked-in Group or exploring them with our developers at Community Collab.

The LISC Chicago Mobile Neighborhood Tours are being co-marketed to Chicago and world by the City of Chicago Department of Tourism, Explore Chicago. The Community Showcase tours were sponsored by the 2016 Fund for Chicago Neighborhoods, with support from the Burnham Plan Centennial and the Boeing Company.

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About LISC Chicago

Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago connects neighborhoods to the resources they need to become stronger and healthier.

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