For the United Center (a sports stadium), UrbanLab created a neighborhood redevelopment plan for a new ‘center’ in one of Chicago’s poorest communities. The proposal transforms a liability into an asset: in this case, a massive array of parking lots serving a sports stadium. Today, the lots are protected with fences and dead-end sidewalks that fragment the neighborhood. Over the years, the stadium’s parking lots have expanded and gradually diminished local residents’ ability to access the heart of their community. UrbanLab’s proposal leverages the United Center’s success — at attracting thousands of people — by creating even more events to attract a wider variety of people, especially local residents, to the stadium and its parking lots. First, the scheme opens the lots to the public, and provides straightforward infrastructural ‘levers’ serving power and water throughout the site. These levers attract people to use and appropriate the space, and stimulate an array of recreational and entrepreneurial activities. Second, the plan encircles the void with architecture. The new building — a mix of residential, commercial and cultural programs — is permeable yet clearly defined to insure a sense of identity and security as the residents of the inhabited wall become watchful neighbors of the void’s ever-changing dynamics.