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Peoria Named Finalist In National Competition to Enhance Public Spaces


The City of Peoria is a finalist in a national competition that aims to transform vacant lots into recreational spaces. 

The City announced Wed. it was selected among 1,000 entries in the Play Everywhere Challenge. The competition awards $1 million to fund ideas for play areas.

Peoria’s submission called “Lots of Fun!” would repurpose vacant lots on the South Side into interactive spaces with features including art installations and whimsical landscaping, the City said.

The project is a collaboration between the City, the University of Illinois Extension, and the City/County Health Department.

"Responding to community commentary and research about the environment’s role in
human development, the design offers opportunities for independent exploration and play to
support mental and physical well-being, while building upon resources currently existing within the
neighborhood,” said Professor Lynne Dearborn from the U of I School of Architecture.
Out of the remaining 200 finalists, 50 winners are expected to be announced this fall.