I recently created the Zoning Assessment tool on Chicago Cityscape, which shows a map of aggregated zoning districts in a given community area, ward, or near a CTA or Metra station. Per Paul Angelone’s suggestion, you can now show the walk shed – the area within walking distance to the station, following the streets.
The maps in this post show where one can build apartments (including a simple and common two-flat) within a 15 minute walk to the Logan Square Blue Line station, which has 24-hour service. Try it yourself.
Thirty-one percent of the walk shed allows multi-family housing.
In a second version of the same map, I’ve marked in red the gaps in the zoning map. These are areas that are zoned to allow only single-family housing. That doesn’t make sense: The land near rapid transit stations should be much denser than the land away from the stations.
Sixty-four percent of the walk shed allows only single-family housing. The remaining five percent are planned developments (at least the Mega Mall is going to have a couple hundred dwelling units), manufacturing, and parks.
And if most of the block is already zoned to allow multi-family housing, why are these parcels skipped?
How it works
The walk shed boundaries are generated by Mapzen’s isochrone service. The Zoning Assessment map asks Mapzen for the polygon of a specified walk shed (walk or bike, 10 or 15 minutes), receives the polygon and sends that polygon to a custom API on the Cityscape server, which compares that to the server’s copy of Chicago’s latest zoning map. The comparison is then returned to the browser and replaces the default Zoning Assessment map.