Skip to main content

No Small Plans is a graphic novel that follows the neighborhood adventures of teens in Chicago's past, present and future as they wrestle with designing the city they want, need and deserve.

Chapter 1: The Past, 1928. Bernard, a young Chicagoan with a passion for engineering, makes his way from the Austin neighborhood to the intersection of State and Madison streets to meet up with his friends, Reggie and Elsa.

The book was inspired by the 1911 Wacker’s Manual, which was once used in classrooms to explain Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago. It is filled with beautiful illustrations and divided into three chapters set in the years 1928, 2017 and 2211. Each chapter ends with a map and a short interlude about Burnham, to give readers insight into the creation of the 1909 Plan and other urban planning challenges.

No Small Plans is being launched in conjunction with CAF’s 50th anniversary and our new “Meet Your City” initiative, which aims to foster civic engagement. In partnership with Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Public Library, CAF aspires to distribute 30,000 copies of No Small Plans for free to Chicago teens over the next three years.

Visit our Kickstarter page for a synopsis of the book, background on the project and more information about how you can purchase or donate a copy.

SUPPORT THE PROJECT