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The planning team would like to take this chance to thank those
who made this plan and its deliverables valuable. Without superior
advising and support from Professor, and friend, Charlie Hoch
and Professor Sanjeev Vidyarthi, the Hoch 9 and its plan for the
Illinois Coastal Zone 6 would not be possible. We would also like
to thank the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR),
the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), and
the various local leaders throughout Zone 6 municipalities who
helped us along with their previous research and guidance. We
appreciate the opportunities this plan has offered us throughout
the semester; the tight-knit and small group of students within
our planning team made this a special time and one to remember
moving forward in our careers.

Jordan Bartle
Community Development

Lindsey Haines
Community & Economic

Patrick Thomas
Community & Economic

Ethan Brown
Economic Development

Kirstin Kuenzi
Transportation Planning

Ian Tobin
Economic Development

Tim Garibay
Transportation Planning

Carl Kunda
Community & Economic

Anna Selgert
International Development
& Physical Planning

Professor Charlie Hoch
Professor Sanjeev Vidyarthi


Goal: Preserve and Enhance the
Natural Coastal Environment

Executive Summary
Planning Vision

Planning Process
The Illinois Coastal Zone 6
Community Background
Scenario Planning

Goal: Increase Access to Chicago


Goal: Improve Civic Capacity and
Enhance Coastal Stewardship
Objective One
Objective Two

Goal: Mitigate and Adapt to

Climate Change Contributions
and Effects

Objective One
Objective Two
Objective Three


Objective One
Objective Two
Objective Three


Objective One
Objective Two
Objective Three


Objective One
Objective Two
Objective Three

Goal: Enhance Passive and

Active Recreation Opportunities

Stakeholder Involvement



Objective One
Objective Two
Objective Three

Goal: Enhance Mobility between

Public Spaces

Plan Recommendations

Executive Summary
There are few places

as cherished as the North Shore of the

Illinois Coast. There will be even fewer by 2060. This plan was created in
order to meet the needs and desires of this precious community along
the coasts of Evanston, Wilmette, Kenilworth and portions of Chicago
and Winnetka, all make up the Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Coastal Management Zone 6. The Illinois Coastal Zone Management
Plan for Zone 6 coordinates a unique set of values, perspectives and
hopes for an important region that thrives on a symbiosis of recreational
space along with natural resources of Lake Michigan. This plan lists a
set of goals, objectives and recommendations accompanied by a wide
variety of maps, images and charts to better prepare the Zone 6 coast
for future conditions and ensure that this vibrant area is preserved and
made accessible to all.

The plan considers both the environment, local communities

and the broader public who will depend on and enjoy the Illinois coast
over the next fifty years. Its position among the most highly populated
coastal communities in Illinois will require a response to demand for a
wide variety of recreational, environmental and economic interests. While
these interests are respected equally, it should be understood that open
coastal recreation comes at the price of committed coastal stewardship.
The quality of the environment for aesthetic value and ecosystem services
must be remediated, enhanced and preserved for future generations.
This landscape will face increased uncertainty due to threats of climate
change, population growth and enduring environmental concerns over
the protection of Lake Michigans freshwater. Zone 6 must implement
a strategy to confront those challenges. To ensure effectiveness, this
plan includes monitoring methodology and evaluative criteria for
each recommendation. More importantly, this plan understands that
future conditions are difficult to predict. This plan concludes with
recommendations for the future that provide a clear vision coastal
communities should consider.


The Bahai Temple, Wilmette, IL from the North Shore Channel

Planning Vision

In pursuit of increased public access

to the Illinois Coast, this plan manages
complex relationships between the
physically dynamic coast of Lake
Michigan, the local community of
residents, businesses and governments,
and the wider human and ecological
community served by the resource.
A primary goal in creating this plan was
to present both flexible and resilient
action-oriented recommendations that
adapt to a larger and more diverse
population coupled with the effects of
climate change to accomodate the level
of desired community commitment.

Planning Process

he planning process began

with a site visit to better
understand Zone 6 and the
forces affecting the coast. After
preliminary research, observation
and stakeholder contacts, the
tension between public access
to the coast and the fragility of
natural coastal systems became
a primary theme.

Zone 6 Research
+ Scenario

Weeks 1-8


rom this tension came two

groups; one focused on
public access and the other
focused on the shoreline.

o manage the difficulty of

envisioning change over a
fifty-year time frame, each group
created a matrix of possible
scenarios. The most important
forces for public access were
land privatization and population
change. For shoreline, these
forces were trust in government
and lake levels.


Weeks 9-11

fter presenting the interplay

of these different scenarios,
it was time to reconcile the
two narratives about future
conditions in Zone 6. The agreed
future conditions were Zone 6
with a larger population resulting
in more public space, coupled
with lower lake levels and a
dwindling trust in government.


Weeks 12-13

mind, goals for the plan
were developed along with
and recommendations. From
came two synthesized packages
of final recommendations, Front
Yard Coast and Community
Coast. This final document is
the end product of each stage
in the process.

Plan +

Weeks 14-16

The Illinois Coastal Zone 6

Zone 6 comprises the northernmost neighborhood of Chicago, Rogers Park, and the four municipalities of Evanston, Wilmette, Kenilworth, and Winnetka. The Illinois Coastal Zone 6 is shaded red.

Stakeholder Involvement
A Community Coast

This plan believes the coast is a

complex commons. The primary
goal of this plan is to maintain that
resource in perpetuity for future
generations. These subsequent
generations will rely on Lake
Michigans supply of fresh water,
recreational opportunities and
environmental significance. These
future generations hail from
beyond the Zone 6 municipalities
to the broader Chicago region.

Collective Governance

This plan is intended for individuals,

groups, agencies and institutions
that believe the most effective and
inclusive management of coastal
governance. These agents are
acting on behalf of a larger coastal
community that extends beyond
municipal boundaries and shares
common interests in the coast. In
Zone 6, groups like the Citizens
parks and recreation departments,
local parenting and homeowners
associations, the Evanston North
Shore Bird Club, North


schools and concerned citizens,
University and resource managers
will all be essential for the success
of the Zone 6 Coastal Management
Plan. This plan respects the
delicate balance between local
uses, interests and control with
the external communities that
utilize the coast. The audience can
expect coastal communities that
have an appropriate balance of
private and public control resulting
in expanded opportunities for
recreation and preservation of
sensitive environments. Zone 6
provides a useful scale for plan
implementation, but other coastal
zones can draw on these resources
and recommendations as well.

Community Background

North Shore

Illinois seeks entry

to National CZMP

Evanston Incorporated



Lake Michigan
Historic High
Water Level

Bahai Temple
in Wilmette





History of North Shore Coastal Communities



Chicago North Shore

& Milwaukee Railroad

Great Fire of Chicago
Causes Influx of Residents

Lake Michigan
Historic Low
Water Level

Adoption and
Implementation of
2060 Coastal
Management Plan

Challenges 2010 - 2060: A Changing Climate

Climate Change
Projected Lake Levels

Climate change will have far

reaching impacts on Zone 6. One
of the hallmark effects of the
earths warming is a disruption
in the patterns of precipitation
The region will
experience more or less precipitation
than normal, manifesting itself
in the occasional extremes of
drought or extensive flash flooding
in lands that had previously never
Above: Lake level projection studies are summarized in the Great Lakes Regional Assessment and possible. The communities in Zone
6 will experience a unique brand of
Environment Protection Agencys reports on climate change for Lake Michigan.
Below: Projected lake level decline and exposed land along Zone 6. Contours are in meters, but the climate change.

projections for Lake Michigan
increased precipitation, increased
evaporation and loss of water
in runoff from increased rainfall.
Predicting the climate of a single
region within an enormously
complex system is daunting. In
selecting a 2060 Lake Level
projection, this plan implemented
a simple method of averaging
varied projections from many
projections corrected for feet to estimate the land exposed by lake level decline.
studies. The consensus of the
Great Lakes Regional Assessment,
U.S. EPA, and climatologists is that
lake levels will in fact decrease.
Working under the constraint that
declining lake levels are more likely
to be correct, those projections
were then averaged and weighed
based on their end year to match
the end year of 2060. Working
with this method, our plan projects
an average decline of 2-4 feet
(average of 4.39 feet) by 2060 for
Lake Michigan.
The gold area shows the projected exposed
land. This projection was made using
existing lake level contours.


Local Change

Range of Lake Level

2-4 Feet by 2060
Average of Reported
4.39 Feet by 2060
Average Exposed Land
from Current Shoreline:
900 Feet by 2060

Higher Air Temperatures


More Frequent &

Intense Storms

hot air produces bigger storms

bigger storms increases risk

of flash floods and pollution

more evaporation
increases storm size

Flash Flooding

excessive runoff causes the channel

to empty into the lake

Higher Land Temperatures

warmer land increases evaporation

Lower lake level is one of the

most costly long-term effects
that deserve attention in Zone
The Great Lakes Basin,
where Zone 6 is situated, will
experience higher annual land
ambient temperatures and lake
water temperatures. Since 1990,
the U.S. has experienced an
increased temperature of 2F. In
the past century, the Great Lakes
area precipitation has increased
by 7% and the amount of rain and
heavy downpours has by 20%.


Observed Effects

Projected Effects
Falling Lake Levels

Less Snow Pack

less snow pack
increases evaporation

Higher Water Temperatures

warmer water increases evaporation

More Frequent North

Shore Channel Flooding
nearby beaches close when the channel floods

Complex effects and interactions of climate change in Zone 6.

By 2100 the U.S. is projected

to have an average rise of land
and air temperatures between 4
and 11F. The Great Lakes are
expected to be warmer over
the next 50 years as exemplified
by Lake Superiors projected
decrease in ice pack coverage
by 1.7-11.6 weeks per year.
The current average of ice pack
coverage is 11-16 weeks. A
reduction of that magnitude will
lead to exacerbated evaporation
and will contribute to the variety
of climatic factors leading to
lower lake levels.


Challenges 2010 - 2060: Increasing Population


Demand for Recreation

Increases in demand for coastal

recreation and lakefront access
will come as a result of rising
population and warmer summer
temperatures. Even if current
recreation levels remain the same,
the number of people using the
coast for recreational activities will
increase in Zone 6. The following
charts demonstrate this population

in the Chicago Metro Area. While

projections for a fifty-year time
frame cannot pinpoint population,
projections can reveal probable
trends. Projecting these population
trends onto Zone 6, increases in
population are expected as well.
Although population declined
in the area from 1960 to 1980,
population has been on the rise
over the past thirty years, especially
in Evanston. If population follows
the trend over the past thirty years,
Zone 6 population could reach up
to 112,000 residents.

Growing Populace

Metropolitan Area has grown
steadily over the past fifty years,
fueling similarly steady growth
at the state level. If population
growth continues on this trend,
the populations of Illinois and the
Chicago metro area will grow from
12.8 and 9.46 million to 15.55 and
11.6 million respectively by 2060.

Population Trends


Taking the even more conservative

estimates based on U.S. Census
projected to grow to 14.5 million
in Illinois and 10.1 million


Population Projections

If Zone 6 follows the statewide

trend predicted by the Census, the
population will grow even larger by
2060, to approximately 133,000.
As an attractive area in the inner
ring of Chicago suburbs, with a
traditionally older population living
even longer in the future, growing
population in Zone 6 seems
Left: Population projections for Illinois, the
Chicago Metro Area, and the Zone 6 Communities
to 2060
Facing Page: Population Pyramids by Age and
Sex for Illinois and the Zone 6 Communities

Population Projections

Challenges 2010 - 2060: Diversifying Population

Aging Population

engage in physical activity
at least 3 times a week.

Not only is the population

projected to grow, but it will also
change in composition. Looking
at the projected population
period for the state as a whole,
the population should look much
older by 2060. Projecting this
change onto Zone 6, an area with
an already older population, the
change in population composition
could be significant.
assuming the continued presence
of Northwestern University, the
young adult population cohort with
still be a large part of Zone 6.

94% of Illinoisians believe

recreation areas should
serve all people regardless
of physical ability.

Barriers to Access
Lack of ADA
Compliant Access
Difficult Terrain
Lack of accessible
Lack of activities for
seniors and disabled



Above: The population will increasingly reflect an aging population.

Below: Beaches can be designed to accomodate users with different degrees of mobility.

Aging in Place

This rise in population translates

into mounting pressure on the
sensitive and limited coastline of
Zone 6. Because the coast is a
recreational resource for more than
the Zone 6 communities, a growing
metro area affects the coast as
well. Increasing demand will not
only strain the built recreational
environment, but also the natural
systems on the coast. The change
in population composition will also
dictate the types of pressures on
the coast in terms of recreation

Challenges 2010 - 2060: Control of the Coast


This map shows that private ownership

dominates the Zone 6 coastline. Evanston
offers the greatest amount of publicly-controlled
coastal land, while Kenilworth has only one
public beach.

Private Control

Known for its many recreactional

opportunities along the coast,
Zone 6 provides an outlet for
beachgoers, walkers, runners,
cyclists and picnic users. That
valuable coast is restricted to a few
unconnected spaces. The majority
of the coast in Zone 6 is private.
Northwestern University holds
the greatest portion of private
land, while dozens of lakefront
properties divide the coast and
control the coast of Lake Michigan
in Evanston, Wilmette, Kenilworth
and Winnetka.

Limited Scope

the continuous shoreline and
isolates access points.
management projects too often
involve only private land owners
and technical specialists that do
not have a wholistic appreciation
for the entire coast. This limits the Above: Northwestern University has a large
private lakefront with coastal management
recreational and environmental structures and a lagoon.
potential of the entire area.
Below: Typical lakefront home in Wilmette.


Scenario Planning: Confronting the Challenges

Scenario Planning

Core Constraints form

a complex system with

cumulative consequences
for Zone 6.

Shoreline Scenario Matrix

Providing Access
to a Growing
and Diversifying

Shoreline Scenario

Providing Public
Control of the
Common Resource
Along North-South
and East-West Axes


Planning for the future of the Zone

6 coast over the next fifty years
requires detailed and creative
conceptualizations of both current
conditions and projected changes.
The development of scenarios
provides a powerful tool for
exploring the core constraints.
Scenarios reveal forces for change
or pushes, relevant actors, relevant
stakeholders and the range and
complexity of possible futures.
The development of scenarios
also provides a clear message to
communities about futures they
want to achieve and calamities
they can avoid.

The Scenario Matrix was composed by comparing two axes, lake level change and trust in government.
This generates four quadrants, each an alternative scenario. Although each quadrant develops a
vastly different alternative, the only variables that change between each are the combination of lake
level and trust in government. The Hindmost Coast was selected for in depth analysis because of
its relevance to conditions and projections in 2011.

The first scenario explored

environmental changes, expressed
as the change in lake level due
to climate change, and the level
of trust citizens have in their
government. Trust in government
can be specifically characterized
as the political context in which
any planning effort would exist,
and describes the type of actors
granted agency of the plan or
solution within that context. The

The Hindmost Coast

By superimposing these axes four

extreme future scenarios were
generated along these guidelines.
Although each of the four
scenarios provided useful insights,
this plan concentrated on one:
The Hindmost Coast.
coastal management structures
become improperly placed in this
scenario, rendering them obsolete.
The unprotected coastline is
susceptible to the forces of erosion
and the increased intensity of
storm damage. In this scenario,
municipalities are ill equipped to
respond to the challenge and each
adopts separate strategies.

Communities in Crisis

In Evanston, the city uses limited

public beaches, leaving other
beaches abandoned. Wilmette
and Winnetka contract coastal
management to private companies
that impose high user fees and
limited public access. Kenilworth
coastal management, resulting
in private landowners being the
sole stewards of the coastline. The
variety of approaches eliminates
the cumulative benefit of similar
coastal measures across scale.
As a result, coastal management
becomes less effective at a higher

Scenario Planning

environmental spectrum ranged

from a 2-4-foot decline in present
lake level to an increase of 0.51 feet. The trust in government
spectrum ranged from high-level
trust where the state or other large
institutions provided top-down
leadership, to a fragmented policy
environment where large scale
or expensive planning efforts, or
coordination and cooperation are
nearly impossible. It responds to
a fundamental structural difference
in both the role of the government
and the expectations of the people.

Lessons Learned

Projects will have to focus on

small-scale, achievable results,
and must include improving
coastal assets. The increasing
costs of management require a
diversity of funding sources and
innovative, income generating
must be achieved between
environmental character and
recreation opportunities through
thoughtful coordination.


Scenario Planning: Appreciating Interactions

Access Scenario

The second framework considered

expressed as demand for coastal
recreation, against the degree of
privatization of coastal land. A
high-level of privatization reflected
a decreasing proportion of publicly
owned land along the coast. Low
privatization resembled the current
coast, or included additional public
land acquisition. These axes created
an additional four scenarios. The
Open Season scenario was selected
for in-depth analysis.

Access Scenario Matrix

Community Innovation

Open Season


Open Season had a vastly increased

demand for coastal recreation and
a decrease in privatization. The
increased demand created a context
where coastal access became
the central planning problem.
Demand for coastal recreation
comes from a growing regional
population and also the enhanced
perception that the North Shore is
an attractive vacation destination.
The population also creates
demand through its diversification.
An aging population requires
specific recreational opportunities
and access requirements
to accomodate their


needs. Decreased privatization

allowed for a variety of policy
interventions to realign or reinvent
certain sections of the Zone 6
coast. Place-marketing, enhanced
cultural and commercial amenities,
and the attraction of many local
events have created true variety
in the recreational offerings of the
Open Season Coast.

An identical methodology was used to create the Access Scenario Matrix. One axis contrasted
population level changes, and the other represented the spectrum of coastal land privatization.
These variables generated four alternative scenarios, differing only in their population level and
degree of privatization. Open Season was selected for in depth analysis because of its relevance to
projected increases in demand for coastal recreation.

To create increased access by

2060, Zone 6 municipalities in the
Open Season scenario consider
innovative measures including:
private lakefront homeowners,
conservation easements to allow
for public support in maintaining a
changing coastline and expanding
the public trust doctrine to mandate
the sale of easements during the
sale of property in return for future
permitting rights. By offering
more recreational amenities, Zone
6 swaps its back yard for its front
This transformative idea
creates a unique environment of
commitment from the relevant
stakeholders. That commitment
represents a fundamental shift
in the relationship of the Zone 6
Community to Lake Michigan and

Lessons Learned

The Open Coast reveals the

necessity for controlling the
amount of access to recreation
along the coastline to preserve
the natural environment. It
also suggests that a variety
of uses would be necessary
to address the demand for
the Zone 6 coastline across
different geographic regions
and different demographics.
acquisition of coastal property,
smaller acquisition through
conservation and public access
easements, and also improving
were all considered. The
connectivity of the coastline and
its surrounding communities
also became an important
through this scenario.


The two scenarios were

reconciled to continue
Low trust in government
became a shared planning
context that all goals
operated within.

Scenario Planning

public access. The expansion in

recreation and access opportunities
benefits the local community,
the Chicago region, and also the
greater Midwest that seeks vacation
options closer to home as a result
of the expense of traveling in a
world altered by climate change.

Key Goals of Plan

Increased Access
Increased Connectivity
Increased Public
Control of Coastal Land
Preservation of
Quality Recreation


Goal: Improve Civic Capacity and Enhance Coastal Stewardship

Current Institutional


Education is the most obvious

component lacking in Zone 6. In
this context education is simply not
enough. This plan relies on opening
up current regulatory structures to
include broader public overview
and creating new organizational
bodies to manage and provide
responsible stewardship for Zone

Private landowners overwhelmingly

dictate the relationship between the
land and coast in Zone 6. Evanston
provides the most outstanding
example of public access, while
Kenilworth and Wilmette represent
a stark contrast with limited public



There are unclear definitions of

public and private land, and the
decision-making process is often
limited to self-interested parties. It
is probable that the only residents
who would counter increased public
access are the private landowners
and institutions that would have to Above: Representation of Natural Resource Management. Often Private Property Rights, Development Standards and Controls and Permitting overshadow actions for the public good.
officially share their backyards.
While anecdotal access given
up and down the coast is not
disputed, this passive acceptance
is illustrated by how few take
advantage of it. Despite municipal
plans to minimize demographic
changes, population patterns, as
expressed in this plan, indicate this
is unfeasible.
Private fence or volleyball net? The boundaries between the private and public realm are unclear
on the Zone 6 coast.


Reconsider Institutional Structure of Coastal Management

Objective 1: Integrate public interests into coastal management
Coastal Zone Advisory Committee


statements, but private interests trump a regional perspective.

An obligatory advisory committee (the CZAC described above)
comprised of the 4 local municipalities, environmental commissions,
parks departments, local environmental groups, and recreation groups
(such as parent or senior organizations) could provide the necessary
counter points to many unnecessary and harmful private dominant
private interests.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Coastal Zone Management

proposal outlines two advisory groups for the plans formation. The
composition of the committees provides a useful framework for a role
with an expanded scope. Both the Technical Advisory Committees
and Coastal Advisory Groups involve local residents and businesses,
municipal governments, technical professionals, and private special
interest groups. Through this framework a coalition of local resource
management institutions, called a Coastal Zone Advisory Committee, This coalition of interests reflects the technical expertise, comprehensive
businesses and special interest groups (such as Home Owners perspective, and conceptualization of the coast as a common-pool
resource. Common-pool resources are non-excludable but are valued
Associations and Conservation Groups) should be created in Zone 6.
such that individual users impact
the group. Without a coalition
The purpose of this group will
advocating for a comprehensive
be to implement the offered
synthesis of competing interests,
recommendations in this plan to
these private interests dominate
become integrated into the current
policy decisions while civic capacity
institutional framework illustrated
remains isolated and limited.
in the schematic below. This new
body would become relevant
By a CZAC mandated review of
in permit reviews, development
any erosion control structures we
standards, and large coastal
can limit the long-term public
costs of replacing ineffective
or shortsighted structures, that
diminish the coasts natural beauty.
Permits along the Illinois Coast
In areas designated as especially
are currently administered by the
Office of Water Resources (OWR) of
the Illinois Department of Natural
requirements could be created.
Resources (IDNR), and the Chicago
This could include the type of
branch of the U.S. Army Corps of
structures private landowners could
Engineers (USACE). Requirements
build on or near the coastal zone.
Public interest is restored
are provided for impact


Zone 6 is part of the urbanized Chicago Lakefront. It has limited

opportunities for large conservation areas since most of the coastal
property has been developed. Land acquisition is a powerful tool to
improve the amount of publicly accessible land and increase.

Coastal Land Trust

A coastal land trust should be created to identify important targets

for acquisition. To avoid this, the high cost of coastal land may limit
acquisitions of outright property. In Zone 6, the Coastal Land Trust could
focus its efforts on acquiring public access easements to the lakefront.
It could also purchase conservation easements for environmentally
sensitive areas. The funding mechanism could come from the existing
Illinois Open Land Trust Program. A more aggressive campaign could
use precedent from other states to secure some additional funding,
such as real estate transfer taxes, development fees, or dedicated sales
tax revenue. The Coastal Land Trust could also engage with non-profit
financing groups such as the Trust for Public Land.

Create Coastal Zone Advisory Committee with advisory
and regulatory power
Adjust Permitting Process to include CZAC Review
Create Coastal Land Trust


Objective 2: Establish More Public

Control of Coastal Land

Create Resource Guide condensing rights and obligations

of the public

Foster Civic Capacity

Ambiguity and poorly defined borders limit effective decision-making.

This plan respects that a coast held in the public trust is important. A
resource guide, which identifies access points and rights of the public
and residents must be provided to private landowners and the greater
public alike. This plan will condense key definitions, rights, opportunities,
goals, and stewardship obligations into a resource guide that can be
easily distributed and understood to the public. Although education is
not enough, consistent and accessible information are essential tools for
increasing civic capacity.

When we see land as a community to

which we belong, we may begin to use it
with love and respect.
Aldo Leopold

Goal: Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change Contributions and Effects

Taking Action

If Zone 6 communities do not take

preemptive measures to combat
climate change they will be at the
mercy of the natural environment
and the tremendous burden of
coping with a changed planet.
Local governments, businesses
and residents can mediate the
ill effects of climate change by
meeting several objectives. Climate
change mitigation consists of the
ongoing measures taken to lessen
the impending effects of global

Reduce GHGs

Since greenhouse gas (GHG)

emissions are the problem, one
solution is to decrease production
of these emissions. Reducing
the community carbon footprint
and supporting innovations in
renewable energy can help achieve
GHG reductions. Climate change
adaptation seeks to prepare
for effects of global warming
by developing new strategies.
Reducing the impact of storm
water runoff will be a priority.



Objective 1:
Reduce community carbon footprint

Energy Efficiency

To collectively decrease GHG

emissions and offset global
warming in Zone 6 communities,
this plan offers numerous coastal
strategies for each household in
order to reduce carbon footprints
and make local communities more
sustainable over the next fifty
years. These plans of action include
implementing more energy efficient
land usage in transportation
systems and buildings.
In meeting GHG emission reduction
goals, local Zone 6 communities
must set emission reduction
targets. Individual homes can work
with neighbors and municipalities
to set standards needed to achieve
these results. Zone 6 municipalities
should promote light-colored roofs
and green roofs with vegetation
and paving materials to reduce
Electricity and natural gas used in
public space should be eliminated
where possible.
Above: Zone 6 GHG Emissions, 2008
Below: Evanstons water treatment facility
before and after natural plantings inspired by
Magic Hedge Bird Sanctuary in Chicago and
several green roofs.

This plan supports mixed-use,

car-share programs, more street
access for bikes and the marketing
of public transit. The amount of
parking spaces near transit must be
reduced and more space for bikes
and car-shares in new developments
should be made available. The
Skokie Swift Yellow Line should
be expanded. Taxi companies,
local shuttle services and school
busses are encouraged to convert
to hybrid and other fuel-efficient
vehicles through subsidies where
possible. A regular bus service
to OHare International Airport
should also be implemented from
Zone 6, as well as the enforcement
of an anti-idling ordinance for all

Objective 2: Reduce increased

storm water runoff effects
Rain Barrels

Doing what one can to mitigate

the negative effects of increased
storm damage is a benefit
to residents as long as these
preemptive actions are neither
costly nor difficult. One of the
less expensive and simpler
ways of personally reducing
storm water runoff is to install
rain barrels. These rain barrels
store freshwater that is normally
deposited into sewers; this water
can then be recycled easily to
water lawns and gardens during
dryer times.

North Shore Channel


In order to mediate the danger

of E. coli in swimming areas of
Zone 6, the channel must be
cleaner. An eco-boulevard like
the one below naturally removes
toxins and pollutants from dirty
water through vegetation. By
installing native vegetation
along the banks of the North
Shore Channel, the wastewater
will be cleaned by plants. Beach
closings along Lake Michigan
after powerful storms will
become less numerous

Runoff Risks

With an increase in storm

frequency and intensity, the
sudden influx of rainwater to the
Zone 6 environment will become
a pressing concern. Flash flooding
will more likely occur in a system
with an increasingly turbulent water
cycle; this puts private property
and Zone 6 residents at risk. As
this happens several times a year,
beaches along the Zone 6 coast are
closed due to hazardously high E.
coli levels in near-shore lake water.
This is currently due to rain water
releasing bird fecal matter trapped
in the beach sand and the North
Shore Channel opening up to Lake
Michigan in times of excessive load


Transportation and
Land Use


Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change Through Innovation

Objective 3: Support innovations in renewable energy
Switch to alternative
energy sources

Embracing renewable energy, such

as solar, wind, hydroelectric, and
geothermal reduces emissions.

Cost Crisis

The cost of fossil fuels is a

rising. Zone 6 residents will
look to renewable fuels to
offset higher air conditioning
costs with more 90F days.

Zone 6 Energy Crisis

Energy prices are

proportional to


Among the most important

and concrete solutions worth
consideration is the construction
of wind turbines eight miles off
the coast of Evanston. In its pursuit
of becoming a green city and
reducing GHG emissions, Evanston
and a local grassroots organization,
Citizens Greener Evanston, have
developed the Windfarm Project
to generate clean energy. Having a
local source of reliable clean energy
will allow Zone 6 to be sustainable
over the long run.

Project Specifics

Winnetka 3.2% increase in costs 20092010

IPCC 1.1% increase in
energy demand per
anum til 2035

Evanston Windfarm

40 Wind Turbines
$10 million/Turbine
Nuclear Energy: A Cautionary Tale

Three out of the four Zone 6 communities receive their energy from
four nuclear power plants in Illinois. Of these four plants, only one is
licensed to operate beyond 2025. A nuclear power plant is licensed
to operate for forty years after it begins operation and any extensions
require extensive safety and reliability benchmarks to have been met.
Unfortunately, two of the four plants have serious environmental
contamination and questionable safety histories.

Energy Produced for

70,000 Households
48,187 Housing Units
in Zone 6
Energy Source Goal:
100% Alternative

Generate wind energy

Evanston Wind Turbine Farm
Achieve Total Reliance on
Alternative Energy Sources
Reduce dependence on fossil

Reduce transportation
pedestrian travel
Increase accessibility of transit
Improve transit

Reduce building GHG

Support and encourage mixeduse, green, high performing
transit-oriented development.
Encourage energy efficient
building standards
and greenhouse gas emission
reduction targets for residential
and commercial buildings.

Community Support
for Offshore Wind
Turbine Projects

Though some may be worried

that off-shore wind power might
mar the views of Lake Michigan,
a 2007 University of Delaware
study found that 65.8% of outof-state tourists were likely to
visit a beach in order to see a
wind farm off-shore. In addition,
44.5% were likely to pay for a
boat tour of the off-shore wind
facility. From these findings we
can assume that the wind farm
would be seen as a boon for
local tourism and a new wonder
for the North Shore along with
the Bahai Temple.



Ameliorate effects of
stormwater runoff
Encourage use of rain barrels
Construct stormwater runoff
mitigation features such as ecoboulevards along the North
Shore Channel

Offshore Project Along the Zone 6 Coast


Goal: Preserve and Enhance the Natural Coastal Environment



Objective 1: Replace hard erosion

control structures with natural


A major concern by the year 2060 will be the ecosystem of the coast.
The ecosystem of Zone 6 has been altered by many stabilization
structures which prevents natural ecosystem interaction. Additionally,
the amount of residential and institutional development along the coast
has had a negative impact on the health of the coast. On top of manmade structures, human recreational activity and the facilities involved
have also compromised the ecosystem of the coast. Creating a balance
between the natural coastal environment and these developments will be
important to the future health of the coast as a unitary living ecosystem.

From rigid to dynamic

Advocates for beach preservation stress that any engineering scheme

should be a last resort, yet the Zone 6 shoreline is already largely
maintained by engineered shore stabilization structures. This creates a
rigid coastline where the ecosystem is fragmented and ignores natural
processes such as littoral drift.
The Zone 6 coastline is stabilized through rigid structures such as
groynes, riprap, seawalls and detached breakwaters. Rigid structures
reflect wave energy rather than absorb it, increasing erosion around
the structure. These structures also disjoint wildlife habitat and impede
wildlife mobility.
Natural erosion control measures can be used. Soft approaches favor
more natural materials. These techniques focus on minimizing shoreline
hardening while strengthening the shore.



Riprap or rubble rock often sinks

as the sand beneath it is eroded
by wave action. It is dangerous for
people to cross over it as the sharp
rocks can shift underneath and
cause injuries. Riprap has caused
large splashes to hit passing cars
and the road during strong storms
in Evanston.
Groynes are metal, concrete,
or wooden structures jutting
perpendicularly from the coast.
Groynes disrupt littoral drift
patterns in the short-term. Overall
they cause a loss of beach sand,
erosion of the glacial till beneath,
and accelerate erosion as the depth
at the waters edge deepens.


Seawalls are hard structures parallel

to the shoreline made of concrete,
steel or sometimes wood. Seawalls
function like riprap, absorbing
the crashing force of wave action.
Seawalls can fail if the earth
beneath becomes unstable or is
eroded. As water levels drop and
the water line recedes, seawalls
lose effectiveness. Storms provide
further stress to the system

Natural Vegetation

When vegetation is cleared for

development or access, the
root systems are damaged,
Preserving natural vegetation
through plant root systems can
provide shoreline structure.
Planting native vegetation with
deep roots is especially useful.
Benefits of a vegetated shoreline
also include a diverse habitat as
well as the filtration of storm
water runoff.


Beach Cell System

natural vegetation with more
solid natural materials such
as logs, live stakes and brush
bundles. Sand beaches erode
quickly when the sand is
not replaced by littoral drift
deposits. The highly controlled
shores of Lake Michigan have
effectively halted this process
leaving sandy beaches to erode
away. Bioengineering creates
erosion resistant shores by
combining larger solid materials
with extensive root structures.
By combining vegetation with
more solid materials the shore is
able to withstand greater wave


The beach cell system is a more

expensive method of halting
erosion control yet the benefits
are numerous. A beach cell
system is started with detached
breakwaters which are built
parallel to the shoreline at a
distance. Infill is added to connect
the detached breakwaters to the
shore. The infill becomes new
land for public enjoyment and
further stabilizes the breakwaters.
Beach cell systems halt erosion,
beach, and act as a long-term
solution while accommodating
natural processes. Neighboring
coastal residents can implement
this solution along with local

Artificial Islands

Creating artificial islands is

the most expensive and most
rewarding erosion control method.
Several artificial islands placed in
front of beaches serve as barrier
islands, stopping the erosion of
sandy beaches. Maintenance,
however, is required to ensure
the island does not disappear
into the lake. The most rewarding
outcome from this method is
the presence of highly desirable
island beaches within swimming
distance. This is best suited for
a public parks implementation
as erosion is controlled as beach
land is increased. Beachgoers can
swim to these islands, play on the
beaches or enjoy a measure of


Soft Erosion Control Methods


Protecting the Natural Coastal Environment

Objective 2: Minimize development impact
A majority of the Zone 6 shoreline
is developed leaving little chance
of new developments in the future.
Built structures include private
homes, Northwestern University,
other commercial buildings. The
large amount of residential and
institutional development has had
a negative impact on the health of
the coast as an ecosystem.

Achieving Balance

The needs of the ecosystem must

be balanced with the needs of
property owners so both can
Low-impact development practices such as vegetated buffers and building setbacks can have positive effects at minimizing human impacts on sensitive
inhabit the same space without environments. Because of the urbanized character of the Zone 6 Coast, providing solutions that can be implemented in existing buildings is essential.
negatively impacting the other.


Permeable pavement



Development on the coastline

creates the need to stabilize the
shore through hard structures.
This can be prevented in future
Increasing the amount of space
required between a structure
and the shore will decrease the
need for stabilization structures.
This technique would only
pertain to redeveloping areas.

Vegetated Buffers

also be planted in previously
developed areas. For existing
areas or new developments a
vegetated buffer can benefit
the property owner because the
roots of plants keep sediment
in place. Vegetated buffers also
benefit the ecosystem by acting
as an infiltration system for
polluted runoff.


practices can be used on the
coast to lessen the impact of
the built environment. Potential
practices include rain gardens,
permeable pavements. These
practices can be implemented
at currently developed sites and
new development.

Zone 6 currently has seventeen

coastal public recreation access
points. These include the following
from north to south:

- Elder Lane Park

- Centennial Park Winnetka
- Kenilworth Beach
- Langdon Park
- Gillson Park
- Lawrence O. Lawson Park &
Lighthouse Landing Beach
7 - Centennial Park Evanston
8 - Dawes Park & Dempster
Street Beach
9 - Burnham Shores Park
10 - Elliot Park
11 - Clark Square Park
12 - Garden Park & South

Boulevard Beach
13 - Juneway Terrace Park
14 - Rogers Park
15 - Howard Beach Park
16 - Fargo Beach Park
17 - Leone Park


Objective 3: Minimize environmental impact of recreational activity

Many of these parks are well

maintained yet are not diverse
in their offerings. Many of the
parks are used as open space with
beaches along the lakefront.


Balancing Passive and Active Recreation

Nodes of Passive or
Active Recreation

Passive Recreation

techniques like soft erosion
control, vegetated buffers,
and permeable pavements
will provide spaces for passive
enjoyment. The before image
above is of Howard Beach Park.
The after image below shows
cordwalk and natural vegetation.
The cordwalk is built of wooden
planks connected by cables that
allows shifts with the sand.



Recreational areas can be clustered

damaging effects of increased
human activity. Of the seventeen
public access points in Zone
6 at present, thirteen can be
developed into natural sites
for passive recreation. The five
remaining parks (Kenilworth Beach,
Gillson Park, Centennial Evanston,
Dawes Park, and Leone Park) will
be used for active recreational
use. Recreational spaces will be
constructed and landscaped using
low-impact, low-maintenance and
environmentally friendly measures
and materials.

Active Recreation

Recreational areas will be

burdened by a decrease in
shoreline stability, an increase
in demand, and limited funds.
Management of these areas
will have to include pollution
control, vegetation restoration,
Active recreation must include
programming targeted to all
age groups. Active recreation
areas must not encroach upon
natural or passive areas.

Leone Park has the potential to become an important center for active recreation. The image above
shows current conditions, including under-used facilities and recreation fields, poor environmental
quality, and a parking lot close to the beach. In the image below, expanded and target programming,
natural features, and removal of the parking improves active recreation.

Convert from hard to soft erosion control




Increase setbacks for new structures.

Create vegetated buffers.
Build to reduce runoff.
Create active recreational sites where intense
activity is concentrated.
Designate other access points as natural sites for
passive recreation.
Location of active and passive recreation sites
proposed for Zone 6.


Goal: Enhance Passive and Active Recreation Opportunities


Confronting Challenges

With more residents and visitors

the increase in demand for
recreation will strain existing
facilities. Coupled with an increase
in demand, government budget
shortfalls will limit funds to devote
to recreation development. To
confront these challenges there
are long-term expensive objectives
like land acquisition and short-term
more affordable objectives like the
enhancement of existing facilities
and spaces.

Population Change and


By 2060 the population for the

Chicago metro area is projected
to grow to over 10 million with
the Zone 6 population growing
to over 130,000 residents. The
Zone 6 coastal area will become
an increasingly desirable place
to live and visit due to rising
living costs and climate change.
More people will move to Zone
6 to be closer to Chicago and
reduce transportation expenses.
Recreation Demand
Also, warmer temperatures and
freshwater quantity problems at Above: Recreation demand is expected to increase across all categories. For some activities Increase
the national level will bring others growth in demand exceeds the growth in population. Changing preferences may contribute to this If the rate of participation in
difference, and reinforces the importance of providing a variety of activities.
to visit and live in Zone 6.
constant, the number of people
participating in recreation along
Recreation for All Ages
the coast will increase. This chart
displays the top ten most popular
change for 2060 also includes
recreation activities currently taking
an increasingly large portion of
place in Zone 6. Participation in all
residents over the age of 50. These
At least 50% of
activities is projected to grow with
projections necessitate an increase
population. However, the IDNR
babies born in the
in all forms of recreation, especially
projects that the participation rate
passive activities like walking and United States in 2007
of activities like pleasure walking,
bird watching and other forms
fishing, biking, swimming, and
are expected to live
of passive enjoyment.
golf will grow as well, meaning
recreation opportunities should
to the age of 104.
demand will be even higher than
cater to a variety of users.
the projected figures.

Living Longer



Objective 2: Increase Amount of Public

Open Space

It is important to have a range

of passive and active recreation
options to meet the dynamic
demand of local residents and
demand projections for Zone 6 and
the Chicago area show increases in
demand for both passive and active
recreation, with larger increases in
demand for passive recreation.

A way to cope with an increase

in demand and a limited budget
is to expand existing recreational
spaces. The Zone 6 area is very built
out and there is a limited amount of
available open space. Expanding
recreation opportunities in the
existing open space would not
require acquisition of new land,
but rather it would take advantage
of existing infrastructure. Popular
high-use places like Centennial/
Dawes Park, Gillson Park/Wilmette
Harbor and Kenilworth Beach can
be developed to accommodate
increased demand.

Meeting Future Demand

Activities on the Rise

The activities with the highest

projected increase in participation
are pleasure walking and picnicking.
Though considerable increases in
the active recreation also occur in
playground use, fishing, biking and

44% of Illinois residents

bird watch at least once a

Short Term Development Long Term Acquisition

increased recreation demand is
through the long-term objective
of acquiring more public open
space for recreation use. A focus
should be placed on acquiring land
that expands existing spaces and
creates connectivity between open
spaces over new development.
The new space can be used to
accommodate even larger future
increases in local and regional
demand. The Zone 6 Park Districts
can work with the land trust and
other public and private entities to
acquire more land for public use.


Objective 1: Create a Mix of Passive

and Active Recreation

By 2060 over 8 million

people in the Chicago
Metro Area will walk for
recreation annually


Improving Existing Parks

Objective 3: Improve Open Spaces Facilities for Recreation
There is both an economic and
environmental need to develop
a clustering connection principle
within the design and management
of open space. Viable sites are those
that are capable of accommodating
a clustering of mainstream sports
within a multipurpose cooperative
environment as this has the ability
to avoid duplication of facilities
while promoting the sharing of

Clustering Active

The principle active recreation

Centennial/Dawes Park, Gillson
Kenilworth Beach. The majority of
active recreation activities will be
concentrated at these points in
order to minimize costs and the
strain on the environment caused
by increased demand.


At these nodal points imaginative

playgrounds will be introduced
that allow children to create
their own games. Other active
recreation development


will take the form of unstructured

spaces that can accommodate
multiple activities or sports. These
flexible active recreation options
are more cost effective as they can
be adapted for different uses and

Passive Uses between

Active Clusters

The parks not included in the

active recreation nodes will be
transitioned into passive recreation
focused spaces like trails for
pleasure walking. These trails serve
dual purposes in facilitating passive
recreation as well as linking active
sites to one another. Walking,
running and biking are all activities
that fulfill both purposes.
These trails will become a central
feature of the North Shore
landscape much like Lincoln Parks
lakefront path is for the neighboring
city of Chicago.
Balancing active clusters with flexible
passive space. The map above shows
the proposed active nodes.

The Centennial and Dawes Park

area is located along Sheridan
Road in Evanston. Also included in
this area are Lunt Park and Patriots
Park. The parks have large amounts
of open green space. Recreational
activities include volleyball, a boat
launch site (motorized), and lagoon
area. The parks have nearby access
from both the Metra Union Pacific
North-Davis stop and the CTA
Purple Line-Davis stop. Also in
close proximity are the Evanston
Public Library, McGaw YMCA, and
Northwestern University. Public
transportation stops will have
information about how to reach the
University proximity just to the
north of the parks area adds another
element of recreation demand. In
the ten years between the 96/97
and the 06/07 school years the
student enrollment has gone up
from 12,264 to 14,005. If this
trend were to continue, university
student recreation demand would
also increase, adding to already
elevated local demand.

Improved parking should be

addressed with designated spots
along Sheridan Road directly
correlated with beach access. Park
signs at the entrance will show its
proximity to other recreation sites
of interest. For swimmers, changing
facilities and expanded bathrooms
would aid in their recreation


Centennial & Dawes


The parks should utilize the space

to make it into a year round
destination of the North Shore.
With lighting in the trees along
the trail, the non-beach spaces
of Centennial and Dawes Parks
can be open and inviting during
the evening. By holding a small
winter festival in the middle of
December, ice skating experiences
will Increase the quality of the ice
skating experience in the lagoon
during winter.
For enjoyment during warmer
months, the park can install an
imaginative playground in the
south end of the park In hosting
a Movies in the Park night once
a week during the summer months
and by increasing seating along the
trail, the event could accommodate
goers from nearby communities.


Increase Coastal Recreation Capacity

Gillson Park & Wilmette
With space for only 290 boats, the waiting list
Gillson Park and Wilmette Harbor for Wilmette Harbor is currently 5-12 years
are located off of Sheridan Road in
Wilmette. The park is approximately
59.2 acres of public land and is
the site to many activities such as
swimming, sailing, sailboat rentals,
tennis courts, softball, picnic areas
and shelter, dog beach, and in the
winter an ice rink. There is also
the Lakeview Center, which can
be rented out for special events.
With two entrances and three large
parking lots, the park is visitorfriendly.

Expand Active

Gillson Park should include more

active recreation opportunities
like an imaginative play area for
children and an area for field sports.
A caf with outdoor seating will
be constructed near the Lakeview
The harbor currently has space
for 300 vessels (powerboats and
sailboats). The harbor and park
have nearby transportation access
through the CTA Purple



Line-Linden stop. They are also

in near proximity to the Plaza del
Lago shopping Center, Peter Jans
Golf Course, and Bahai House of

Expand Wilmette

Wilmette Harbor will be expanded

to accommodate more boat slips.
Sailboat and powerboat tours will
leave from the harbor to visit the
wind farms in Lake Michigan. The
park entrance will have a sign that
shows the parks proximity to other
recreation sites of interest and the
nearby public transportation stops
will have information about how to
reach the park.

Imaginative playgrounds are unstrctured spaces

where kids can incorporate their imaginations
and creativity in the physical environment.
Play is not limited and is based on interactions
between kids and the environment.


Located off of Sheridan Road in Kenilworth, this beach currently doubles

as the water treatment plant site with a lookout area on top containing
All Parks
some picnic tables atop the structure. While there is a public beach area,
it is at most the width of a residential lot. The beach is within walking
Expand bathroom and facilities
distance of the Plaza del Lago shopping center and the Metra Union
Increase informational signage at the park entrances and transit
Pacific North-Kenilworth stop.
Improve lighting and benches
Aside from swimming the beachdoes not contain any active opportunities
Designate parking spots along Sheridan Road for park access
like a field for sports or a playground. In the future, beach focused
Install imaginative play areas
activities such as volleyball and lifeguard surveyed swimming will be
Designate open areas for field sports
promoted to create increased active recreation opportunities.


Kenilworth Beach

Along with a small grilling area, a small telescope will be placed on the Centennial & Dawes Park
lookout area to view nearby nature and the wind farm. Signage will be
present to relate the parks proximity to other recreation sites of interest
Add restaurants to the area
and the nearby public transportation stops will have information about
Hold winter festivals in the park
how to reach the park.
Hold movie nights in the park
Conduct boat tours of the wind farm

Gillson Park & Wilmette Harbor

Expand boat slip capacity at Wilmette Harbor
Add restaurants near this area

Kenilworth Beach
Place telescope at lookout area atop of Kenilworth water treatment
Improve variety of activities by adding lifeguard surveyed swimming
and volleyball nets



Goal: Increase Access to Chicago Area

Access to the Coast

Zone 6s location as an inner ring

suburb makes it an ideal location
for working commuters. This
regions diverse transit options
focus on connecting to Chicago,
but not necesarily to the rest of the
Metro Area. Currently, Zone 6 has
several transit options:

CTA: Purple Line

Seven stops in Evanston

One stop in Wilmette

Metra: Union Pacific-North

Eight stops in Zone 6
Stops in each municipality

Pace Bus Routes

Only public transit service

providing east-west
Seven bus routes
Usually no weekend service

Current Transportation Access to Zone 6

Demand for the Coast

Given that recreational demand

will increase with the projected
population rise for the Chicago
area, there will be a need to
accommodate more beachgoers
from within Zone 6 and the greater
northern suburbs. The supplied
beach space will need more access
points that can be utilized by all
beachgoers. Despite a perceived
history of exclusivity, an increase in
recreational demand will pressure
communities to become a more
welcoming and accessible place.
In order to attract people from
the surrounding municipalities
to the coast, these communities
must market a better image of




Edens Expressway (I-94)

Several east-west arterials
Majority travels by automobile


Objective 1: Increase Public Transit Access into Zone Six

North Suburban

With temperatures and coastal

usage on the rise, beach access
will be crucial by 2060. Though
access to the coast is fairly
convenient within Zone 6, access
from the other northern suburbs
into the area is extremely difficult
without a car.
Given that the
most frequent beach users live
in the western suburbs, limited
transit options present a major
problem for the next fifty years.

Beach Usage and Proposed Trolley Lines



Prospect Heights

Lake Avenue Trolley
Dempster Street Trolley

Des Plaines

East-West Connection


Better access from the west could

Park Ridge
be provided by trolley lines in
South Evanston, North Evanston
and Wilmette to accommodate
suburban day-trippers. Each of
these lines will end at a popular
nodal recreation point. The starting
points are all easily reached by
Pace buses meaning residents
of the larger region can reach
these intermodal transit facilities
and board trolleys to the beach.
These options will cut down on
congestion, transit time, and the New facilities could resemble those above, and place marketing for these areas should be



Central/Harrison Trolley

incorporated into the actual design of the buildings.


need for parking space. Visitors will

not have to deal with sticky parking
permits and daily fees, such as
Evanstons Beach Bucks, but
rather enjoy easier, more reliable
recreational opportunities.

Coastal Place-Marketing
Emphasize the Coast

North Shore Branding


The lake could be the focal point

of each of these communities. By
hosting events and gatherings
near the coast, like the Evanston
Lakeshore Arts Festival, Zone 6 can
attract people to Lake Michigan
and emphasize it as a gathering
spot. Evanston already hosts
several coastal events . Kenilworth
and Wilmette could benefit greatly
from emphasizing the coast.


Objective 2: Institute Place-Marketing Recreation Strategies

In order to promote access, the
communities of the North Shore
should join in on a collective image
branding campaign celebrating
and marketing the North Shore as
welcoming to all. Chicagos North
Shore Convention and Visitors
Bureau should become the lead
organization for this campaign.
The current logos for Wilmette
inadequately convey the fact that
these are coastal communities.
Evanstons logo is the only one that
references the coast by including
the lighthouse. In order to attract
people to the North Shore, new
logos must be adopted by Wilmette
and Kenilworth to capture their
emerging values.

Special Events

To open up its coastal lands and

provide people from outside
Zone 6 with better access, these
themselves as inviting coastal
The North Shore
communities should develop placemarketing strategies in order to
showcase attractions and activities
the area offers. This strategy should
include a combination of rebranding
of the area and expanded provision
of special events.
Rework the Kenilworth and Wilmette logos to emphasize the coast, while leaving Evanstons
current coastal themed logo.


Opening the Coast

Objective 3: Provide More Public Access Points to the Waterfront
New Access Points with
Limited Impact

Potential Locations for New Access Points

If the water level declines within

the projected parameters, entirely
new beach space will appear on
the Zone 6 coast. Given the limited
number of current access points,
Zone 6 will need more public access
points to satisfy growing demand
for the coast. This access can be
accomplished by turning deadends of residential avenues into
access points, a common practice
in other coastal cities like Naples,
Turning these dead
ends into usable areas by using
easements, invites more visitors to
the shores of Zone 6. By using raised
walkways, public access will not
harm the sensitive ecosystem.

In parts of Zone 6
residents who live one
block off the coast must
walk over half a mile to
reach public shoreline



By using walkways to protect the coastal

environment, deads-ends, like the top image
could become public access points as shown in
the bottom image

Add Trolley Lines

Lake Avenue Trolley:
Extending 5.5 miles from
Glenview to Gillson Park
Dempster Street Trolley:
Extending 4.1 miles from
Skokie Yellow Line to Dawes
Central/Harrison Trolley:
Extending 4.0 miles from Old
Orchard Mall to Lawson Park

Host Coastal Events

Proposed Transit Lines

Create New Access




Extend dead-ends to exposed

coastal areas

Institute Branding
Municipal logos embracing the
Full participation in North
Shore Marketing Campaign

Venetian Night in Wilmette

Dawes Park Winter Festival

The Evanston Lakeshore Arts Festival

A New Logo for the North Shore Coast


Goal: Enhance Mobility Between Public Spaces


Easing Mobility from

North to South

Connecting a
Fragmented Coast

Zone 6 has the capacity to provide

unique amenities to local residents
and vistors alike. However, the coast
is currently fragmented between
private property, public land, and a
university. A concentrated effort to
improve access and a continuous
shoreline will become a priority,
especially given projected shoreline
increases due to lake level declines.
Under these objectives, Zone 6
must create a system of lakefront
Wilmette Harbor and the Bahai Temple
trails, bike paths, boardwalks and
commuter alternatives that will
more efficiently connect Evanston,
Wilmette, Kenilworth and Winnetka
to each other and beyond.

These are two of the most

important landmarks in
Zone 6. However, given
the current transportation
infrastructure, an automobile
is the only way to travel
between the two.



Evanstons Lighthouse Landing

This increased mobility and

diversity in transportation options
will foster more environmental
initiatives by decreasing congestion
and reliance on automobiles that
lead to higher GHG emissions.
Enhanced mobility is also designed
to highlight the use of public spaces
and thus improve access to points
of interest, recreational choices,
lakefront accommodations and
healthy lifestyles. These new roles
will emphasize the need for a more
connected coastline in a section of
Lake Michigan that has a history of
restrictions due to private property.

Connecting the Coast

The Fragmented Coast

In Zone 6, the continuous

shoreline is interrupted due to
water treatment plants, stretches
of private residential property,
and natural nodes like the North
Shore Channel. Providing a bridge
between the Zone 6 communities
and landmarks means exploring
various transportation modes. The
additional options can enhance
mobility inside of Zone 6 by land,
rail, and water.

Public Transit

The CTA Purple Line is one of

most important sources of mobility
in Zone 6. Over the next fifty
years efforts should be made to
maintain and improve this asset.
Furthermore, a trolley system could
provide connectivity up the entire
coast. Offering trolley service on
Sheridan Road could provide an
opportunity to enhance the already
useful public transit system moving
north-south in Zone 6.

Connecting Fragmented Access to the Lakefront

Sheridan Road

Sheridan Road is the closest

continuous road to the shoreline.
It makes automotive movement
along the coast the best current
option, but could be widened to
accommodate more bike traffic.


Objective 1: Enhance North-South Connectivity Through Transit

Boating: Ferries and

Marina Expansion

Several expanded marina options

for increased boating exist at
current public access points along
the Zone 6 lakefront. Similar
commuter ferries and water taxis
are available in large metropolitan
areas like New York City. Wisconsin
is also home to ferry transportation
across Lake Michigan, but Zone 6
and the Chicago region in general
are severely lacking in transporting
residents, visitors and commuters
alike by boat. Besides increasing
transit options, boating resources
also provide for more recreational


Connecting Communities Through the Coast

Objective 2: Enhance North-South Connectivity Through Trails
Low Impact

Proposed Trail Options

Northwesterns lakefront path

While a connected coast must

be a priority for Zone 6, so is
preservation of the sensitive coastal

Trail System

By utilizing Sheridan Road and

the increasing amount beachfront
space exposed by declining water
levels, Zone 6 still has ample room
for continuous trails that can extend
both away from the lakefront and
alongside it. These trails make low
impact transit options like biking
more feasible, while also providing
increased recreation opportunities.

Encourage low impact transportation




Controlling a huge portion of

should serve as a prominent
stakeholder to embrace the
concept of continuous access and
future lakefront use in the face of
nightmarish climate change. The
university, like local municipalities
in Zone 6, holds a key in promoting
lakefront preservation and access
to all. By connecting its roads and
paths to the greater community,
This map shows possible trail routes. Working with exisiting land, the lakeshore trail would need to
cut-back around private parcels. However, the beach trail could hug the coast, using newly exposed the university has a chance to be a
leader in public access to the coast.
beach space.

A Region of Landmarks

The central purpose of connecting

the coast is facilitating movement
between the many important
landmarks of Zone 6. Home to
world famous landmarks like the
Bahai Temple and Northwestern
University, the area has many
important attractions scattered
along the coast. The main purpose
of north-south connectivity should
be facilitating movement amongst
existing landmarks and newly
created natural spaces.


Objective 3: Emphasize Local Landmarks as Connection Points


This map shows the important landmarks that should be connected

In meeting this objective of low

impact connectivity, simple signage
and maps can make for an inviting
resource along the lakefront. These
postings offer visitors a sense of
direction, point of reference and
education into their newfound
surroundings. Increased signage
also symbolizes more inclusivity
to the region for outsiders, who
should be considered a valuable
commodity to Zone 6 municipalities
and residents aiming to market
their communities.


Let Evanstons intersecting parks and beaches serve as model
for coastal connectivity.
Introduce new transit options such as ferry and trolley services
during the summer months.
Accommodate bike traffic on Sheridan Road.
Create and expand trails along lakefront and Sheridan Road.
Connect Northwestern Universitys lakefront to the larger
community.Provide maps and signage along adjoining trails.
Support the CTA plan to improve the Purple Line.

Expand the trail system



Low-impact connectivity

More transportation via water, like the Lake Express, will become a priority in 2060. Summer time
transit would be easier with quick lakefront options connecting Zone 6 communities to each other
and beyond to places like Chicagos Navy Pier.

Sheridan Road is a perfect location for a trolley. Continuous pick-up and drop-off locations will
allow beachgoers more opportunity to travel the Zone 6 coast.


The Choice

What will Illinois Coastal Zone 6 look like in 2060? Implementing this
plans recommendations can provide the North Shore with a promising and
sustainable future. Following any number of these recommendations will lead
Zone 6 down a variety of paths to its prized lakefront. But these paths are not
merely bike or walking trails. These pathways come with figurative forks in the
road that result in alternative futures.

Among these possible futures, however, is the bleak outlook that these
recommendations are ignored and that no course of action is taken. If these
recommendations are not considered, visitors to the Zone 6 coast can expect to
see more of the same private shoreline, but this time its weathered and tarnished
as a result of the debilitating effects of climate change. Temperatures will
continue to soar, lake water levels will decline, riprap will clutter the beaches

and unwanted groynes will divide an exclusive coast. Abiding by this plans
recommendations will allow Coastal Zone 6 with new opportunities for a
brighter and more fulfilling future. These recommendations reinforce the
concern that the lakefront is only a backyard to a large portion of the cost
when in fact it should be more like the front yard to Zone 6 communities. It
is not now, but it must be for this regions grandchildren and their children.
We must ensure a natural coast, a place of recreation and access with natural
vegetation, passive recreation and improved transit. We must adapt to climate
change and advance mobility along the coastline. The following narratives from
future visitors to this coast capture the alternative responses and viewpoints to
these recommendations.


The Front Yard Coast




I could hear her from the back of the bus. What did they do to this
place? It was my great aunt and she was screaming hysterically. It wasnt
outrage. It wasnt disappointment. It was a homecoming, and it was relief. She
hadnt returned to the North Shore since her youth, a time my father dubbed
Right after the turn of the century. It had been a long time regardless of when,
and one thing certain, she wasnt using the public bus then or the weekend Metra
service that transported her here to the north shore. Times had changed.

Returning to the place of her youth could be a startling discovery because
change naturally occurs over time and new faces mark old territories, but my
great aunt was unusually delighted at what she found. I guided her off the bus at
a new stop and prayed she wouldnt run off like a child in an amusement park.
She recognized the access point to the lakefront and looked satisfied at the bike
racks and trail signage that led us to the water with town logos that embraced the
coastline. It was like my great aunt had been introduced to a new gateway that
had never been there before, like a wall had been knocked down, a barrier lifted
and she could finally see.

There were bird sanctuaries and sunbathers, volleyball games and
families lining the beach on a warm sunny day. We explained to her how the
community reduced its emission standards and how the coastal zone advisory
committee had taken aim at providing more easement for public access between
private properties and how they adjusted the permitting process. I described to
her how the tall non-native canopy trees were removed for native grasses to aid
in erosion control around the easement. She pointed at the vegetated buffers
installed to promote a natural coast, and reminisced about tripping over the
groynes and riprap and other archaic erosion control measures that went by the
wayside years earlier.

Before this had all been private, she said. You dont understand, she
held my wrist in place and shot a paralyzing look of dismay into my eyes. The
lakefront was someones personal backyard, and now it is the communitys front
yard. Gone for so long, she ironically had never felt more at home.


The Community Coast




Maybe its the man playing the guitar on the beach off in the distance,
but somehow I hear Woody Guthrie in the crashing waves. Its hard to imagine
that he forgot to acknowledge Lake Michigans coast was made for you and me,
like he did the Redwood Forest and Gulf Stream waters. These days in 2060 this
coastline is for all. Some times my granddaughter and I walk the interconnected
trails and other times we ride our bikes. After we step off the Purple Line, we walk
to a caf and market to stock up for the day. We pass trolleys, hybrid vehicles and
bikes and homes with green roofs, rain barrels, rain gardens and solar-powered
hot water heaters. Families stroll along the lakefront, while their dogs dance with
the shoreline like sandpipers. We sit at picnic tables and gaze at Lake Michigans
blue infinite waters. We are mesmerized by the wind turbines that keep our homes
and businesses running.

My granddaughter curls up in my arms, and I am reminded of why we
come here. There is nothing more refreshing on another day with temperatures
in the 90s and another long winter ahead. The coast is more than a front yard for
Evanston, Wilmette, Kenilworth and Winnetka. Its more than the lifeblood of

local residents, businesses, organizations and institutions. It is the community.

The area recognizes this asset and has made the investments to ensure public
access, recreation and environmental stewardship of this coveted freshwater.
There are beach cell systems and artificial islands to promote erosion control.
There is increased coastline because of declining lake levels and also because
of a public land trust, private homes that once stood are now public spaces. My
granddaughter will not understand now but she will one day appreciate how
this public land trust allowed these spaces to be converted into conservation
areas, where winding trails run up and down the North Shore. We travel these
paths, stop at the playgrounds and visit the Wilmette Harbor. We watch the
ferries head out of the harbor en route for Navy Pier and set up for a nights sail
from the North Shore Channel. There are boat parades this summer, and I want
my granddaughter along for the ride if her parents let me. She is growing up too
fast and I wouldnt miss this opportunity for the world. Perhaps Woody knew it
all along but didnt see it coming like this. These waters werent meant to last
forever, but this land was made for you and me.


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