Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard


Chicago, IL


Chicago Department of Transportation

Project Owner:

Chicago Department of Transportation

Time Period:


Chicago’s tradition of parks and boulevards stretches over a century, providing the city with a world famous lakefront and its motto “Urbs in Horto” or “City in a Garden.” This idea of connecting parks via tree-lined boulevards has renewed importance today. The number of residents commuting by bike and on foot has increased and necessitates having comfortable, shaded routes for pedestrians and bicyclists. As animal habitat decreases world-wide, it is critical that green space also provides pathways for birds and insects to migrate. TGDA’s design for this two-mile stretch of King Drive, from 35th to 51st, offers people and animals a better route to move through the city.

TGDA, working with former Chicago Forester Bob Benjamin, designed a layered, managed urban forest that changes its canopy cover over time. As the existing honey locusts die out, subtle mixtures of trees, such as sycamores and maples or coffee trees, and hackberries, will replace them in uniform patterns. Our design emulates the historic elm allees, but creates a more diverse forest that will withstand the impacts of pests and disease. TGDA’s planting strategy also uses permeable pavement and structural soil to provide additional on-site water storage and management to help mitigate the impacts of stormwater on the City’s infrastructure.

714 South Dearborn Street, Floor 5
Chicago, IL 60605
312 337 9145
© Terry Guen Design Associates