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Southwest Side’s “Green Hulk” Crusades Against Litter

June 19, 2008 – The Greater Southwest Development Corp. and the 63rd Street Growth launched an anti-littering initiative through the purchase of a “green machine” — a sidewalk-cleaning machine — and the printing of a new anti-littering banner.

GSDC’s recent purchase will enable it to keep the business district clean and to promote a positive image. The idea came from the Commission’s commercial director’s observation that other business areas were handling litter with street cleaning machines.

GSDC also visited other municipalities and learned about their programs and efforts to keep their neighborhoods free of trash. Finally, the staff did some research and came across an organization that manufactures green machines and sells them internationally.

Fortunately, the company was able to demonstrate the green machine’s capacity along 63rd St. The environmental value of the green machine and the business owners’ enthusiasm to have a clean business district were the two main factors that prompted the Commission to purchase the machine.

The green machine’s effectiveness allows it to clean the district several times a day due to its speed and vacuuming capabilities. It also engenders a sense of pride in the district among business owners, knowing that efforts are being made to keep their storefronts clean and professional.

Finally, it allows local residents and visitors to enjoy a nice walk along 63rd St. with their families and friends.

The Commission has also utilized the green machine as a marketing tool. Instead of renting a billboard or running a radio ad about the business district, GSDC is utilizing the green machine itself to promote the business community.

The district’s new logo and web address are now on the green machine so people can easily learn more about the district, and the businesses along 63rd St.

The purchase of the green machine reinforces efforts to market and brand the business district as a place for fun, entertainment, dining and shopping.

The logo design is an attempt to better connect the image of the district. This attempt began by working with business owners to create the image, asking them how best to represent their own district. A screenshot of the current construction page of the 63rd St. website.

On the logo’s sides are the street names that are the district’s east-west boundaries; between them are images of the activities which promote in the area. The overall layout suggests the grid pattern of the streets in the neighborhood.

The new Web site is an opportunity to promote the district online and for many businesses is a new forum for selling products or services.

For other neighborhood stories, check out LISC Chicago’s New Communities Program.

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