Welcome to the evolving website of the Woodlawn Broadband Expansion Partnership – Woodlawn Broadband(sm).

Woodlawn Broadband(sm)  is the name we have attached to the engine for a transformative process – the redevelopment of Chicago’s Woodlawn community into a 21st century “intelligent community” – with an infrastructure and resources that support:

  • Woodlawn’s growth and development as a “community  of choice”; and
  • Woodlawn as a platform for a quality of life that all residents – current and future – can embrace and enjoy.

We believe that transforming the infrastructure – the community’s “skeleton” if you will – is the first step to reinventing the community.

After all, can you have a 21st century community in a neighborhood whose existence rests on 18th or 19th century resource paradigms?

What we mean by this is that a community is not just the streets and buildings, but the residents it supports and the knowledge  and activity “products” it generates from what the people who live there do and “are” on a day-to-day basis.

In Woodlawn we have a community landscape that some people devalue – because it is, according to some census data studies – full of vacant lots, abandoned buildings, young, undereducated people and a safety profile that is not attractive to people looking for somewhere to move.

But at the same time, Woodlawn contains: the second-largest employer in Illinois, one of the world’s great teaching  hospitals, a mega-church with more than 20,000 members, three storied community-based organizations, and one of the country’s fastest growing non-profit organizations.

And we have thousands of very smart people within our neighborhood – highly educated, productive and accomplished.

What if we added to the mix a technologically-advanced infrastructure – one that offered the capacities for connectivity, data gathering, e-commerce transactions, and educational activities that would be hard to match elsewhere?

How attractive would Woodlawn then become? What capacities would we have to build the skills base of our existing underserved residents and attract new ones?

That potential – and promise – is what can be the result of building – and reinventing – the technological infrastructure upon which Woodlawn rests.

There’s more. And we’ll share more with you within this website.

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