Evanston150, the group looking for projects that could improve the city in time for its 150th anniversary in 2013, has unveiled a list of 100 ideas it will seek a public vote on later this month.
Evanston150, the group looking for projects that could improve the city in time for its 150th anniversary in 2013, has unveiled a list of 100 ideas it will seek a public vote on later this month.
The ideas, filtered by a selection committee from an initial pool of over 2,000 submitted by local residents, range from the artsy — like building a new arts and cultural center — to the sporty — like building a minor-league baseball stadium.
Some focus on government consolidation — merging the city and township, or merging the city's two school districts — while still others offer sometimes contradictory visions for what might be done with the city's lakefront.
Voting is scheduled to take place at a series of public meetings Oct. 15 and 16. The vote will prune the list to 30 ideas, from which the selection committee plans to select 10 to urge the community to pursue over the next two years.
Here's the full list of ideas:
1. HOST INTERNATIONAL THEATER, FILM, HUMANITIES FESTIVALS
2. ORGANIZE SHAKESPEARE SUMMER FESTIVAL FROM STAGE TO SHOPS
Involve all of Evanston in a Shakespearean summer festival, not just on stage, but everywhere: shops, public buildings, events, all summer long, with food, costumes, poetry, fencing- the works.
3. BUILD AN OUTDOOR AMPHITHEATER FOR PERFORMANCE/CONCERTS
4. RESTORE FIRST NIGHT NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION
First Night is a community wide effort, providing free entertainment for families on New Year’s Eve, alcohol free.
5. BUILD ALL-INCLUSIVE ARTS AND CULTURAL CENTER
Arts and Cultural Center, possibly housing performance space, space for workshops and classes, kitchens for catering and cooking classes, spaces for producing ceramics, metalworking, sculpture, photography, design, acting, dance, music, weaving, writing, etc.
6. PLACE LARGE, TACTILE SCULPTURES THROUGHOUT EVANSTON
Beautiful and climbable. Sculpture integrated along walking/biking paths; gardens/parks throughout Evanston
7. CREATE ADVOCACY GROUP FOR GREEN BUILDING SOLUTIONS
A community wide resource directed toward improving Evanston’s built environment by advocating for better and more relevant building solutions: greener, energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing.
8. ESTABLISH CULTURAL CENTER FOR ALL ETHNICITIES/RACES
Promote better understanding and awareness of others in our diverse society through educational and recreational activities, an exhibit space, and lecture hall.
9. DEVELOP WORLD-CLASS MUSIC MUSEUM/INSTITUTE
Music institute celebrating all music genres with performance, teaching, exhibit space.
10. CONSOLIDATE CITY AND TOWNSHIP GOVERNMENTS
The city of Evanston and township of Evanston are two separate, but geographically identical, bodies governed by the same individuals. Under this proposal, Evanstonians would eliminate a layer of government and save money by eliminating redundancy.
11. INTEGRATE YOUTH INTO CITY-WIDE GOVERNMENT
A separate youth government would be formed along existing ward lines. One representative from this group would be chosen to fill a newly created seat on the City Council. Steering/planning committees for community activities would have youth membership, broadly representing various groups in the community.
12. CREATE INTEGRATED COMMUNITY CALENDAR/RESOURCES DATABASE/ PHONE APP
This integrated communication system would include civic, cultural, charitable, educational, and recreational information. Northwestern programming would be accessible, as would information about local venues and businesses. Content would be interactive: for example, a map of parks might show basketball courts, drinking fountains, and playgrounds; a museum might offer a preview of its collections. QR codes would be added to city paper communications to link citizens to the database. An Evanston-specific app could be developed for Smartphones. A new communication office, headed by a Chief Information Officer, might be created for effective management of these centralized resources.
13. AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR MIDDLE-INCOME RESIDENTS
Reference the Highland Park Illinois Community Land Trust.
14. CREATE A CENTRALIZED HOMELESS SERVICES FACILITY
Bring all the nonprofit groups, agencies, city government services, faith communities/ civic organizations that serve hungry/homeless together in one large, well-equipped space. Space would provide housing, meals, job counseling, and practical skills toward independent living. Training could include traditional skills as well as integrating urban farm skills to apply towards experience in small-scale organic farming, aquaculture, greenhouse management, seedling production, marketing, and community outreach. This space should include an overnight shelter that provides at least 40-50 guests, a safe place to sleep, shower, and do laundry with a part of the shelter set aside for homeless youth.
15. ESTABLISH DENTAL CLINIC FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES
16. CONSOLIDATE SCHOOL DISTRICTS 65 AND 202
Consolidate Districts 65 and 202 into one school district to increase the continuity of the curriculum and the accountability in the schooling of our children. It should also bring financial accountability and savings; leveling pay scales and administrative overhead.
17. INSTITUTE A COMMUNITY FINANCIAL LITERACY CAMPAIGN
Develop a long-term, integrated, community-wide commitment to ensuring universal financial literacy, through K-12 curriculum, college-level programs, and afterschool and adult programs. Partner with local banks/life training – how to apply for jobs, how to write checks etc.
18. ESTABLISH YEAR-ROUND SCHOOL SCHEDULE
A year-round school schedule breaks up the long summer vacation over the course of the entire year.
19. BILINGUAL EDUCATION FOR ALL SCHOOL CHILDREN
Every child in Evanston should speak a foreign language upon high school graduation. Foreign language should be required in grade school for all children and a variety of languages should be offered. A drop-in language immersion center should exist to enhance and foster knowledge of foreign languages in our community.
20. MAKE D65/D202 TOP SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN U.S.
Utilize all of our resources and invest in successful education to enable D65 and D202 to be recognized as top school districts in the country. We need Evanston public school districts to research and implement best practices in education that propel them into the nation’s top districts with the goal of 100% graduation from ETHS.
21. CREATE EVANSTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE
22. CREATE ARCHITECTURAL GATEWAY LINKING DOWNTOWN AND NORTHWESTERN
Developing a special space by erecting a dramatic architectural structure that links downtown Evanston and the University will underscore physically the connection between the city and the University. It will also serve as a permanent symbol of Evanston’s pride in this renowned institution and the University’s pride in its host city.
23. STRENGTHEN COMMUNITY’S PARTNERSHIP WITH NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
We seek a true, multi-faceted partnership between the community of Evanston and the University. That partnership would draw on the strengths of each entity and involve short-term and long-term initiatives planned for the mutual benefit of both Evanston and its residents and the University and its community. Initiatives might include making NU libraries accessible and free for Evanston residents, collaborating on cultural offerings, and engaging NU in enhancing educational opportunities for Evanston students.
24. BURY ALL OVERHEAD UTILITY CABLES AND WIRES
Replace all overhead power and telephone lines and other cables and wires with underground lines. Enacting this proposal would both enhance Evanston visually and reduce instances of lost power and dangerous conditions when overhead lines are downed during storms.
25. PROVIDE FREE WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS THROUGHOUT EVANSTON
26. CREATE ONE OR MORE TECHNOLOGY CENTERS
These centers should include space for residents to access computers and printers, for an Internet café and for classes on technology-related subjects, such as scanning, keyboarding, media and the use of various devices. The centers can also serve as locations for a summer technology camp.
27. ESTABLISH BRANCH LIBRARIES THROUGHOUT EVANSTON
Evanston currently has only one branch library, and that is available only part time. This proposal seeks to increase the number of branch libraries, locate them throughout the City, and keep them open longer hours in order to make library services and programs more accessible to all Evanstonians. Among other things, the branches can then serve as community resource centers, and reach out to engage everyone in literacy activities, for instance, hosting One Book, One Community programs.
28. MAKE EVANSTON CRIME-FREE
All Evanstonians deserve to live in a safe environment, one free from violence and fear. Gun violence, in particular, should not be tolerated in our community. This proposal seeks to sensitize and educate citizens through increased violence prevention and enhanced community policing programs. It supports hiring and deploying more police officers at schools and in neighborhood satellite offices so that they can be more closely involved in the fabric of the community, with a goal of reducing gang activity and aiming to make Evanston crime free.
29. ESTABLISH BLOCK CLUB ACADEMY FOR IMPROVED COMMUNITY RELATIONS
Establish a Block Club Academy, with a structure specific to the needs of Evanston. Build relationships by offering residents an opportunity to interact on a more personal level with each other through inter-ward activities. Create an accessible, printable online registry and map of existing neighborhood groups with contact information. Offer a centralized, inclusive way for neighbors to communicate and learn.
Workshops could include:
-Meeting facilitation and communication
-Community standards (e.g. property standards, etc.)
-Organizing a Neighborhood Watch
-Creating community-building events across wards
30. FREE CITY BUS PASSES FOR EVANSTON STUDENTS
31. EXTEND BIKE / WALKING PATHS BETWEEN EVANSTON AND CHICAGO
Create continuous bike and walking paths connecting Evanston to Rogers Park and Chicago.
32. TEACH ALL EVANSTON CHILDREN TO SWIM
All children in our community should be taught to swim for their health and safety.
33. CREATE A NIGHTLIFE DISTRICT
Encourage businesses to establish entertainment venues, for dancing, karaoke, comedy, etc., by creating a designated district to draw tourists /residents, provide entertainment for an adult population.
34. MAKE EVANSTON AN AWARD-WINNING WALKABLE CITY
A walkable city is committed to a walkable environment. This includes pedestrians walking safely and easily, decent lighting, easy mobility, access and comfort.
35. BUILD WORLD-CLASS, ALL-SEASON RECREATIONAL/SPORTS COMPLEX
A state-of-the-art, green technology community recreational center, possibly housing a leisure pool, a field house (with indoor courts for soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc.), fitness center, suspended walking/running track, changing rooms, child-care area and snack bar, racquetball courts, multi-purpose studios and party rooms, tot playground, skate park, ice arena, NHL-sized ice rinks, and 50-meter Olympic-sized competition pool and related amenities along with seating for spectators. Facility could offer/host sports activities and clubs. (See www.recplexonline.com)
36. ESTABLISH COMMUNITY OUTDOOR POOL/WATER PARK
A state-of-the-art, green technology community pool offering Evanston residents an outdoor facility with, for example, a 50-meter pool, a leisure pool with zero depth edge and water slides; wading pool with tot slide; diving pool with two boards and two drop slides; locker room facilities; concessions; party rentals; lessons in swimming and diving. Pool could be surrounded by natural prairie/gardens.
37. INTRODUCE BEACH RESORT AMENITIES TO PORTION OF LAKEFRONT
Enhance a portion of Evanston Beachfront (Clark Street Beach as a suggested example) to include fee based chaise lounges & umbrellas, a cafe, playground, and mini-golf course.
38. CREATE A MARINA/HARBOR/BOARDWALK WITH RESTAURANTS
39. CREATE A PEDESTRIAN BIKEWAY ON OLD MAYFAIR RAIL SPUR
Secure right of way and convert unused railroad tracks of what remains of the old “Mayfair Spur” line (used to ship coal and lumber) running from SW Evanston NE to Lyons/Emerson and onward to Green Bay Road.
40. DEVELOP EVANSTON’S “SECOND COASTLINE” ALONG CANAL
Clean and enhance the canal waterway for recreation encouraging more hiking and biking. (see Princeton’s canal, NJ)
41. ESTABLISH JAMES PARK RECREATIONAL HUB
Re-envision James Park: Include such things as steps on Mt. Trashmore to encourage healthy climbing and install a Zip line/bungie, skate park, basketball courts. Establish cross country ski trails.
42. BUILD A MINOR-LEAGUE BASEBALL STADIUM
43. BECOME ONE OF THE GREENEST CITIES IN THE U.S.
This broad and challenging initiative would focus on improving our environmental ratings relative to other US cities. These ratings may include, but would not be limited to greenhouse gas emissions, energy, land use, buildings, transport, water, waste, air quality and environmental governance.
44. BECOME A CARBON-NEUTRAL CITY
Seattle has announced that it plans to go carbon-neutral by 2030: www.worldchanging.com/archives/010987.html. In the pledge and attempt to become carbon-neutral, we could become an inspiration and model for cities worldwide. Achieving net zero carbon emissions would require balancing our carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered. Our actions would likely include dramatic changes, specifically in transportation, energy production and efficiency, as well as setting aside green space and planting trees for absorption of the carbon we did release.
45. PROMOTE RESPONSIBLE WATER USE & CONSERVATION
Installing rain gardens and green roofs would reduce the city’s heat island effect in the summer, absorb storm water (preventing flooding), and filter runoff (keeping pollutants out of our lake and water supply). Green roofs have the added benefit of providing insulation for cold winters. Rain gardens planted with native vegetation need minimal water and care, and require no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. (Chicago has been a leader in green roofs: www.nytimes.com/2011/05/23/science/earth/23adaptation.html)
46. DEVELOP SELF-SUFFICIENT AND SUSTAINABLE ENERGY RESOURCES
We could begin to divest from fossil fuels; research and develop renewable energy sources: e.g., wind farm on the lake, wave energy, biomass, and/or thorium-based nuclear power. Also we could research and develop local energy sources around the city: e.g., geothermal energy, wind turbines on roofs, solar panels, and electric car infrastructure.
47. INCREASE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN BUILDINGS
Residential, commercial and industrial buildings are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in Evanston, and exacerbate the "heat island effect" of the city in summer. We could achieve massive reductions in our city’s CO2 emissions by aggressively retrofitting all large public buildings for energy-efficiency, and strongly subsidize similar retrofits for commercial and residential buildings. We could offer free home energy audits and classes on how to reduce energy costs.
48. EXPAND RESIDENTIAL URBAN GARDENING AND COMPOSTING
Promote the cultivation and distribution of food by groups or individuals on private and/or public property for personal consumption or distribution.
49. OFFER FREE COMMUNITY GARDENS, GREENHOUSES & COMPOSTING SITES
Establish one or more community gardens and greenhouses, as well as adjacent public composting sites. Community gardens promote increased community engagement, help the local environment, promote cardiovascular health and good nutrition, and foster new friendships.
50. CREATE URBAN FARMS IN NEGLECTED SPACE
Like many urban communities, Evanston lacks sufficient local sources of affordable organic foods. We produce locally only 3% of our food, and are dependent on food that travels an average of 1500 miles. Urban agriculture is a proven method of successfully addressing multiple problems, including inadequate food security, poor nutrition, and excessive fossil fuel used in food production, processing, transport and refrigeration. This urban farm could also provide educational opportunities and permanent jobs for our community. (thetalkingfarm.org, www.greensgrow.org)
51. CONVERT NEGLECTED SPACE TO NATIVE PRAIRIES
Converting unused space (empty parking, industrial or commercial lots) to native prairies, wetlands and woodlands would help absorb storm water (thus reducing flooding hazards), filter pollution (keeping it out of our lake and drinking water), and absorb carbon (helping us offset our emissions). We would enjoy the peace and beauty of the natural area, and could offer educational and cultural events, as does the North Park Village Nature Center in Chicago.
52. INSTALL PERMEABLE PAVEMENT THROUGHOUT EVANSTON
This weave of pavement allows 80% of rainwater to filter through to the ground below. It reduces flooding by absorbing storm water, saves city water by reducing the need to water nearby trees and shrubs, and suffers far less deterioration (potholes) by expanding and contracting with freezes and thaws. (Chicago has been a leader in this new technology: www.nytimes.com/2011/05/23/science/earth/23adaptation.html)
53. CREATE LOW ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT LAKEFRONT ENTERTAINMENT VENUE
This idea incorporates an entertainment venue in a beautiful location with environmental responsibility. “Low-impact” directs that there would be minimal negative environmental impact in creating a place for concerts, plays or other forms of entertainment. Building a low-impact venue would require attention to construction materials and methods, as well as the livability and functionality of the venue. A low-impact venue would incorporate environmentally-friendly building materials, blend with its surroundings so that it is an integral and not overpowering part of the landscape, and be designed so as to maximize functionality.
54. FOSTER GREATER COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Community activities on both the macro and micro level are an important part of bringing together and honoring the people, cultures and neighborhoods of Evanston. These activities would bring residents together by age, location and interest. Activities could include, but are not limited to, block parties, Block Club Academies, collaborative projects, program for seniors who live alone (YANA) and encouraging front porch use with zoning incentives.
55. CREATE SUSTAINABLE, SPIRITUALLY-ORIENTED COMMUNITY CENTER
This unique community center is envisioned as a prototype of some of the most sustainable urban living practices, and would include community space for meditation; interfaith, community and cultural events; and the growing and sharing of food.
56. INSTITUTE EVANSTON COMMUNITY DAY OF SERVICE
An encompassing day of helping others & helping our community, to be held annually on a designated date (e.g., fourth Saturday of October). A diverse and action-oriented citizen committee to plan, brainstorm, mobilize, publicize, & recognize members of our Evanston community to volunteer (skills & resources). Evanstonians are rallied into a single day of action to help change our community and foster community.
57. CREATE PHYSICAL HUB FOR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
This would establish a centralized building for non-profit organizations that serve Evanston, while utilizing strengths of each organization, reducing costs and increasing opportunities. Many non-profit oganizations currently work together, but are limited by funding, insufficient exchange of information, and geography. This group of non-profits would develop cross-organizational services to increase their opportunities to receive Federal, State, local, and foundation funding.
58. ESTABLISH PROGRAM TO REDEVELOP NEGLECTED NEIGHBORHOODS
Using the "Hope Community" model, work with local communities, converting abandoned buildings into low-income housing and redesigning neglected neighborhoods for long-term sustainability and human happiness. (Based on the Hope Community program in Minneapolis, see www.hope-community.org)
59. ESTABLISH COMPREHENSIVE LOW-INCOME HEALTH & WELLNESS CLINIC (including Medical, Mental Health, & Dental)
60. IMPROVE APPEARANCE OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES
Improve the appearance of CTA/Metra facilities and surrounding areas with better lighting, design and art. Add benches at bus stops, especially near seniors.
61. ESTABLISH A TRANSPORTATION LINK TO O’HARE AIRPORT
62. MAKE EVANSTON A TRULY BIKE-ORIENTED CITY
Rather than privileging the car and designing around its needs, we could design Evanston around our needs for moderate exercise, efficient and enjoyable transportation, and clean air, by privileging the pedestrian, bicycle, and public transportation instead. We would establish new bike paths and trails, especially a new bike/walking loop around Evanston, connecting the lakeshore with the canal; “borrow a bike” stations all over town; designate some north-south and east-west streets car-free so that biking and walking is safer; and add benches, water fountains, and shady trees along these routes.
63. ESTABLISH A WATER TAXI TO DOWNTOWN CHICAGO
64. ESTABLISH AN INTERFAITH PRAYER & MEDITATION CENTER
This prayer and meditation center would be a welcome place for individuals of all faiths to convene in peaceful reflection. Elements of the center may include yoga, art, and guided meditation.
65. TUITION-FREE COLLEGE EDUCATION FOR ALL EVANSTON GRADUATES
Like the “Kalamazoo Promise,” this program would provide scholarships to cover 100% of tuition at any Illinois university for all Evanston public school graduates who attended Evanston public schools from K-12. Kalamazoo has similar demographics to Evanston, and these privately-funded promise-type programs nationwide have swiftly created stronger communities, higher housing values and increased student achievement and participation in college bound coursework. The long-term transformational goals are to establish a prosperous community with a well-educated work force, bound by a strong social fabric.
66. BECOME A TOURIST DESTINATION WITH VISITOR CENTER
There are many attractions, activities and programs in our community that attract visitors to Evanston. With some coordination, those could be expanded upon, and visitors are encouraged to spend several nights/week instead of a night. Make it easier for people to have bed and breakfast lodging to add income and tax base. Create a centrally-located, easily accessible visitor center promoting tourist companies in the area. Install street directories to help tourists and visitors find their way
67. IMPROVE LOOK & SIGNAGE AT EVANSTON ENTRY POINTS
Introduce "Welcome to Evanston" in prominent entry points. Provide for better signage and information (e.g. parking garages, transportation portals, library services, free lots, etc.). Enhance the entry points into the city to be more welcoming.
68. BEAUTIFY CHICAGO AVENUE
Make Chicago Avenue more pedestrian-friendly, with more trees, flowers, benches, bike lanes, and cafes. Encourage more small businesses to come.
69. PLANT 2013 TREES
70. EXTEND CHICAGO LAKEFRONT INTO EVANSTON
Create a continuous, accessible beach from Chicago to Evanston.
71. OFFER FREE SHUTTLE TO LOCAL/POPULAR DESTINATIONS
The system could incorporate commercial shuttle/trolley to circulate the various points of interest and shopping districts of Evanston. People could jump on and off at any shopping area or point of interest. This would enhance Evanston as a destination and would create a greater "wow" factor for our visitors. Not only would the venues be a draw, it would also be a fun, family-friendly activity.
72. ESTABLISH “EL SISTEMA” TRANSFORMING YOUTH LIVES THROUGH MUSIC
“El Sistema” is a 38 year old tested model of how a music program can change the life trajectory of many thousands of a nation’s or community’s neediest children. Founded in Venezuela, but now spread to 25 countries and to many cities in the U.S., the Sistema curriculum relies heavily on the discipline and joy of ensemble performance, as well as private instruction in skill development. Over 300,000 children in Venezuela participate. Some of the world’s finest musicians have emerged through the “system.” El Sistema is an inspiring example of positive and transforming child development through music.
73. CREATE EUROPEAN-STYLE TOWN SQUARE/PEDESTRIAN MALL
Town Squares in European cities are common, large inviting spaces where people meet, stroll, shop, have coffee or drinks. The vacant lot on Davis Street and the unused bank lanes are eyesores that could be part of a conversion to a grand style Spanish plaza.
74. CREATE DEMPSTER-DODGE COMMUNITY ENTERTAINMENT CENTER
Rehabilitate and rejuvenate the plaza and general area at Dempster and Dodge. Restaurants, a Trader Joe's, a library branch, farmers market, an entertainment center, more appealing stores that would draw people, art galleries. Fun things to do for all ages.
75. REDESIGN FOUNTAIN SQUARE AS PUBLIC GATHERING SPACE
Hold a design competition for Evanston designers for the purpose of making Fountain Square a pedestrian friendly gathering/meeting place. Bring back the original Fountain (now in the Rose Garden) as a central focus. Re-route traffic to make the square traffic free. Plant garden area with shrubs and flowers. Shops and restaurants. Possible farmer’s market. Create a real downtown focal point for relaxation as well as business.
76. CREATE SESQUICENTENNIAL PARK
A park with an attractive and inviting recreation capability at the downtown lakefront area.
77. CREATE COMMERCIAL ART GALLERY DISTRICT-CORRIDOR
Artists working and studying in Evanston produce art in all media: painting, jewelry, metal, ceramic, textile, print. A corridor of galleries would encourage art shopping and would be a draw to Evanston business.
78. MAKE MAJOR PARK IMPROVEMENTS AND ADDITIONS
Ensure that every neighborhood has a quality park. Consider using recycled and green technology to build more and better parks. Make sure all parks have great benches and fountains.
79. KEEP LAKEFRONT COMMERCIAL FREE
80. CREATE A CRIB-TO-CAREER CHILDREN’S ZONE
Support children from the moment they arrive until they are launched as successful citizens. Modeled after the “Harlem Children’s zone,” the zone would unify existing social service agencies and educational institutions in Evanston to provide crib to career services including counseling, mentoring, prenatal services, parenting classes, quality childcare and preschool, great schools and skills training in underserved neighborhoods.
81. PROVIDE UNIVERSAL PRESCHOOL FOR ALL
Help eliminate the achievement gap by providing early childhood education to all Evanston children.
82. BUILD A WINTER SPORTS COMPLEX
Rejuvenate Mt. Trashmore with rebuilt state-of-the-art sledding/toboggan runs (and possibly bobsled). Ring perimeter of park with cross country ski trail and rink. Possibly an ice rink, pro shop, concessions and a rope pull.
83. HOST AN ANNUAL LITERARY FESTIVAL
A festival of books: possibly at Northwestern and around Evanston, featuring Evanston authors and including a Writing Festival in collaboration with Evanston Writers Workshop, Medill, etc. Venues could be donated and revenue produced via a book fair where exhibitors are charged for tables to sell books at. Festival would celebrate the city's literary history and its future as a home of intellectual discussion and debate.
84. FREE BEACH ACCESS FOR EVANSTON RESIDENTS
85. BUILD A MARINA
Evanston's most significant asset is the lake. A marina off the Evanston shoreline could be a tremendous economic asset to the community.
86. BUILD LAKEFRONT HOTEL/CONVENTION CENTER COMPLEX
Evanston’s lakefront is underutilized. Economic development at the lakefront would bring jobs and city tax revenue as well as offset the ever-growing increases in property taxes. Potential revenue-producing venues in this proposed lakefront build-out could include: world class performing arts theatre, meeting and convention halls, boutique hotel and restaurant with lakeside dining.
87. CREATE LAKEFRONT BOARDWALK WITH COMMERCIAL SPACES
Boardwalk ideas could include: nice new outdoor pavilion, a fun place for simple food, ice cream and snacks (something really lacking on our lakefront), a comfortable area for laying out a picnic, bike parking, nice restrooms, and more. Our lakefront is already lovely; it's just not very people or visitor friendly. A place for people to walk along the water, populated with various local vendors, both art and food. An architecturally-stunning boardwalk along the beach (similar to the High Line in New York City, see www.thehighline.org) – natural, beautifully landscaped, with places to sit and read or talk or eat along the way, some cafes along the way, sculpture, water feature to walk through.
88. BUILD VOCATIONAL/TECHNICAL SCHOOL WITH REGIONAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Develop a vocational/ technical school that also includes regional employment placement opportunities for students and graduates of the school. The purpose of the school would be to develop vocational or technical skills for those wishing to pursue vocational or technical jobs.
89. DEVELOP CO-OP TECHNICAL SCHOOL FOR UNDER-SERVED YOUTH
The Cooperative Technical school would serve a diverse population of underserved youth by providing students the opportunity to integrate classroom study with actual experience in their field of study. These experiences strengthen and enhance student's overall competencies, increasing the possibility for attaining a successful and fulfilling position in their chosen career upon graduation.
90. INSTALL “CITY YEAR”/AMERICORPS PROGRAM IN OUR SCHOOLS
City Year is an education focused, nonprofit organization that unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service to keep students in school and on track to graduation. At City Year’s 21 locations across the United States, teams of diverse young people called corps members serve full-time in schools for 10 months working to improve student attendance, behavior and course performance in English and math.
91. FREE CHILD CARE CENTER FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES
Create a free child care center for low-income working Evanston families.
92. ELDERCARE/LONG-TERM CARE FOR LOW-INCOME SENIORS
Create affordable/free long-term care for low-income Evanston senior citizens.
93. DEVELOP FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT/BOWLING CENTER
A family entertainment center possibly housing a bowling alley, Ferris wheel, Exploratorium-like space, coffee shop, laser tag, indoor play, water play, roller-skating, banquet hall, a museum for kids, and a gaming center where gamers can come and play each other on one theater-sized screen.
94. CREATE YOUTH CAREER & LEADERSHIP CENTER
A youth career center where career building and leadership skills are taught and job training and placement is offered. An apprenticeship program is included, as well as life/career coaching.
95. CREATE YOUTH SOCIAL & ACTIVITIES CENTER
A youth social center that has tutoring (including scholarship application assistance), weekly social activities, food, advertisement of volunteer opportunities, ping-pong, jukebox, board games/cards, computer access, pool table, arcade, and a performance/studio space.
96. CREATE SMALL BUSINESS INCUBATOR CENTER
97. BUILD CONVENTION CENTER/EVENT SPACE
98. DEVELOP COMPREHENSIVE JOBS PROGRAM
A job/career center in Evanston for all ages. This job center will contain mentorship programs, vocational development as well as incentives for employers who hire participants of this program.
99. BUILD RECREATIONAL ISLAND OFFSHORE
Build a Marina / Hotel / City Complex about a half mile off the shore of Lake Michigan.
100. CREATE YEAR-ROUND INDOOR/OUTDOOR FARMERS MARKET