Evanston150 unveils top 100 ideas

Patrick Svitek

Evanston150 unveiled its top 100 ideas to improve the city’s future earlier this week, inching closer to two mid-October voting sessions.

At those public events Oct. 15 and 16, community members will vote to whittle the 100 ideas down to 30 ideas for final consideration by the 21-member selection jury.

Over the summer, the same panel narrowed more than 2,000 public-submitted ideas to the 100 ideas released this week.

The top 100 submissions span a diverse range of city suggestions, from building an outdoor amphitheater to hosting an annual literary festival to allowing free beach access for all Evanston residents.

Evanston150’s top 100 ideas:

Host international theater, film, humanities festivals

Organize Shakespeare summer festival from stage to shops

Build an outdoor amphitheater for performances/concerts

Restore first night New Year’s Eve celebration

Build all-inclusive arts and cultural center

Place large, tactile sculptures throughout Evanston

Create advocacy group for green building solutions

Establish cultural center for all ethnicities/races

Develop a world-class music museum/institute

Consolidate city and township governments

Integrate youth into city-wide government

Create an integrated community calendar/resources database/phone app

Offer affordable housing for middle-income residents

Create a centralized homeless services facility

Establish a dental clinic for low-income families

Consolidate school districts 65 and 202

Institute community financial literacy campaign

Establish year-round school schedule

Offer bilingual education to all school children

Make D65/D202 top school districts in U.S.

Create Evanston community college

Create architectural gateway linking downtown and Northwestern

Strengthen community’s partnership with Northwestern University

Bury all overhead utility cables and wires

Provide free wireless Internet access throughout Evanston

Create one or more technology centers

Establish branch libraries throughout Evanston

Make Evanston crime-free

Establish block club academy for improved community relations

Free city bus passes for Evanston students

Extend bike/walking paths between Evanston and Chicago

Teach all Evanston children to swim

Create a nightlife district

Make Evanston an award-winning walkable city

Build a world-class, all-season recreational/sports complex

Establish community outdoor pool/water park

Introduce beach resort amenities to portion of lakefront

Create a marina/harbor/boardwalk with restaurants

Create a pedestrian bikeway on old Mayfair rail spur

Develop Evanston’s “second coastline” along canal

Establish James Park recreational hub

Build a minor-league baseball stadium

Become one of the greenest cities in the U.S.

Become a carbon-neutral city

Promote responsible water use and conservation

Develop self-sufficient and sustainable energy resources

Increase energy efficiency in buildings

Expand residential urban gardening and composting

Offer free community gardens, greenhouses and composting sites

Create urban farms in neglected space

Convert neglected space to native prairies

Install permeable pavement throughout Evanston

Create low environmental impact lakefront entertainment venues

Foster greater community engagement

Create sustainable, co-housing meditation community center

Institute Evanston community day of service

Create physical hub for non-profit organizations

Establish program to redevelop neglected neighborhoods

Establish comprehensive low-income health and wellness clinic

Improve appearance of public transportation facilities

Establish a transportation link to O’Hare Airport

Make Evanston a truly bike-oriented city

Establish a water taxi to downtown Chicago

Establish an interfaith prayer and meditation center

Facilitate tuition-free college education for all Evanston graduates

Become a tourist destination with a visitor center

Improve look and signage at Evanston entry points

Beautify Chicago Avenue

Plant 2013 trees

Extend Chicago lakefront into Evanston

Offer free shuttle to local/popular destinations

Establish “el sistema” transforming youth lives through music

Create European-style town square/pedestrian mall

Create Dempster-Dodge community entertainment center

Redesign Fountain Square as public gathering space

Create sesquicentennial park

Create commercial art gallery district-corridor

Make major park improvements and additions

Keep lakefront commercial free

Create a crib-to-career children’s zone

Provide universal preschool for all

Build a winter sports complex

Host an annual literary festival

Free beach access for Evanston residents

Build a marina

Build lakefront hotel/convention center complex

Create lakefront boardwalk with commercial spaces

Build vocational/technical school with regional employment opportunities

Develop co-op technical school for under-served youth

Install “city year”/AmeriCorps program in our schools

Create a free child care center for low-income families

Offer elder care/long-term care for low-income seniors

Develop family entertainment/bowling center

Create youth career and leadership center

Create youth social and activities center

Create small business incubator center

Build convention center/event space

Develop comprehensive jobs program

Build recreational island offshore

Create year-round indoor/outdoor farmers’ market