Arthington Mall Plaza at the University of Illinois Chicago


Chicago, IL
United States

Project Size
1.86 acres
Project type
Institutional / Educational
Site Context
Former Land Use
Previously Developed
Terrestrial Biome
Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Project overview

Located in the heart of Chicago, the University of Illinois Chicago is a vital part of the educational, technological, and cultural fabric of the region. UIC’s Arthington Mall Plaza serves as an open, common area for students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the West Side of campus.

The Arthington Mall Plaza renovation supports the UIC Climate Commitments which include goals to become a Climate Neutral Campus, a Zero Waste Campus, a Net Zero Water Campus, and Biodiverse Campus. A part of the UIC Master Plan, this project revives space that was formerly prone to urban flooding and dilapidated hardscape with green infrastructure and safety improvements that will reduce stormwater runoff and improve the flow of pedestrians.

UIC entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) to further improve the stormwater reduction capabilities of Arthington Mall. The Plaza features over 11,000 square feet of rain gardens, 10,350 square feet of permeable pavement, and reduced square footage of impervious paving onsite by 19,000 square feet. These features are predicted to increase the retention of 653,060 gallons of runoff water on the site annually, supporting the goal to reduce overflow of the City of Chicago’s combined sewer-storm water system during intense rain events.

Arthington Mall enhances UIC’s identity by creating a welcoming setting that safely connects people across UIC’s West Campus and encourages them to linger. Because of this project’s success, UIC has committed for all other landscape projects over $2.5M to also obtain SITES certification while adhering to the Climate Action Implementation Plan-specific SITES checklist for projects at the University of Illinois at Chicago, thus ensuring UIC’s Sustainability goals, and the goals of SITES are integrated into every major landscape project.

Learn more about UIC’s Arthington Mall Plaza here.