What is the true potential of the Chicago Pedway system in Chicago?
The Chicago Pedway is a network of tunnels (with some ground-level concourses and bridges) connecting office buildings, governmental buildings, retail stores, hotels and train stations throughout the Chicago “Loop.”
Initiated during the 1930s, the Pedway is, in reality, an incomplete system that has evolved throughout the decades, reducing its accesses in some areas and eliminating most of its initial activities. Currently it lacks a clear and comprehensive identity, recognizable accesses, proper lighting, interesting activities and, in general, any quality that makes it an attractive destination for the residents or tourists of Chicago.
Seeing its current condition of neglect, the question we ask ourselves is, what is the true potential of this system in Chicago? Can it add something new that can improve the quality of life of its inhabitants?
We believe that the Pedway system has incredible potential and it can play a key role in the city. We don’t understand it as an independent and isolated system but as a system that is part of a bigger network of urban spaces, each with their own characteristics, that complement each other.
We believe that the Pedway should and must become a new collective space in the city. A pedestrian system with different architectural and spatial qualities that allows for the expansion of the activities currently confined in small spaces as well as the incorporation of new activities than can enrich the cultural and social scene of Chicago.