The Evanston150 Steering Committee today announced the top 30 ideas for improving the city selected in public voting over the weekend.

Organizers say over 500 people chose from among 100 ideas during seven public meetings held at the Century Theatre, Evanston Township High School and Saint Francis Hospital.

The 100 had been chosen by a 21-member selection committee from an intial pool of over 2,000 ideas submitted by the public earlier this year.

The top 30 ideas as determined by the popular vote are:

  • Create year-round indoor/outdoor farmers market.
  • Provide free wireless internet access throughout Evanston.
  • Make Evanston a truly bike-oriented city.
  • Create a pedestrian/bikeway on Old Mayfair rail spur.
  • Make Evanston an award winning walkable city.
  • Create urban farms in neglected space.
  • Build vocational/technical school with regional employment opportunities.
  • Become one of the greenest cities in the United States.
  • Promote responsible water use and conservation.
  • Offer free community gardens, greenhouses, and composting sites.
  • Establish comprehensive low-income health and wellness clinic.
  • Consolidate City and Township governments.
  • Provide universal preschool for all.
  • Consolidate school districts 65 and 202.
  • Keep lakefront commercial free.
  • Expand residential urban gardening and composting.
  • Free beach access for Evanston residents.
  • Make D65 & D202 top school districts in the United States.
  • Plant 2,013 trees.
  • Develop self-sufficient and sustainable energy resources.
  • Become a carbon-neutral city.
  • Extend bike/walking paths between Evanston and Chicago.
  • Increase energy efficiency in buildings.
  • Establish branch libraries throughout Evanston.
  • Establish dental clinic for low-income families.
  • Develop co-op technical school for under-served youth.
  • Institute Evanston community day of service.
  • Bury all overhead utility cables and wires.
  • Install permeable pavement throughout Evanston.
  • Create a youth career and leadership center.

The top 30 ideas are now under review by the Evanston150 Selection Jury. They will select the final 10 visionary ideas, with broad acceptance, the potential for long-term impact, and specific, actionable and measurable results.

The final 10 ideas will be announced at the Black Tie & Blue Jeans themed celebration on Thursday, Nov. 10, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Levy Center, 300 Dodge Ave. More information about Evanston150 is available at www.evanston150.org.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Who is paying for this?

    Were is the $50 + Million  going to come from to bury all cable lines,which causes more power outages than above wiring. Over 10 million to install permeable pavement throughout Evanston.Over hundred thousand to plant trees and maintain after they grow and die. Another over a $10 +  Million  idea is having and maintaining branch libraries throughout Evanston . Why cant you just have a 150 year celebration at Ryan Field or the lake front were people and businesses can volunteer their talents.

  2. Bike comments

    Simplier and cheaper would be to close some streets to all cars [or all non-resident parking] where possible; make more streets cul-de-sac with opening for bikes and pedestrians—-and open for bikes only. Would also save lives, reduce pollution and gas for those now able to bike safely.

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