Rambler Ramblings: An Update from Our Student Ambassadors

Loyola Pop-Up Recap + Reminder: Take the Placemaking Poll!

Hey there! We’re your Elevate Devon Student Ambassadors, Riley Kelly and Mia Roman. We hosted the first pop-up in Loyola University Chicago’s Damen Student Center on Thursday, March 31st from 9 am to 12 pm and it was a huge success! We were able to connect with more than fifty students and collected dozens of insights and comments about what they wanted to see in the Devon corridor, their ideas, and challenges. After our tabling, website hits increased more than 1,000%. We were delighted to have lots of enthusiastic conversations with students who were interested in contributing their thoughts on how to improve the area.

We handed out more than 100 project cards in the Damen Student Center last Thursday.

We had a wide range of opinions about the project, but we also had common themes. Some students were not familiar with Devon Avenue at all, some had only been down the street once or twice, and some reported they frequent the street often. Many commuter students shared they didn’t frequent Devon shops and attractions but passed through to get to campus. Many of these students were frustrated by the congested traffic and lack of safe pedestrian crossings.

The students who were familiar with the street mentioned their favorite spots – Nori Sushi, Uncommon Ground, Tbaar, Ellipsis, Devon Market, and Cunneen’s. Students shared that the area is lacking businesses and spaces that could make the area a destination.

Many people mentioned they would like to see more coffee shops, bookstores, bars, and restaurants with outside seating – more cool places to hang out for cheap. Senior Drew Mallery shared that “Uncommon Ground” is the only big restaurant that has outside seating, but it’s too expensive for students.”

The desire for more evening activities was mentioned several times, noting that was something students had to travel outside of Rogers Park/Edgewater for. Besides adding attractive businesses, students mentioned the area would benefit from more murals, flowers, bus stop seating, better wheelchair accessibility, more pedestrian space, and less litter.

When asked what he thought of the Elevate Devon project, student Rafael Aviles said:

“I think it’s very dope because it adds attention to outside communities, not just the downtown community. Coming from a place where they don’t have attention for those far areas – I love it. Projects like this make the community stronger together and bond.” 

Student Rafael Aviles
LUC Student Ambassador Riley Kelly chats with a student about Elevate Devon.

Overall, we were thrilled at the interest and enthusiasm for the Elevate Devon initiative from our pop-up and were able to prove that LUC students are a crucial community to involve in the strategy building for this campaign. They have great ideas to share and are invested in the outcomes of this project and community corridor.

Upcoming Engagement Events

Make sure to join us Wednesday April 13th at Nori Sushi (2:30 PM – 4 PM) and Devon Market (4:30 PM – 6 PM) for the next pop ups! We’re excited to connect more with the Devon community and get feedback on our placemaking poll.

Wednesday April 27th from 5:30 PM – 7 PM we’ll have our Virtual Workshop on Zoom, where you can learn even more about Elevate Devon and share your thoughts on the project so far. Keep an eye out for the Zoom link in the next few weeks!

Published by Elevate Devon

Elevate Devon is a pivotal corridor study focused on enhancing Devon Avenue between Sheridan Road and Ravenswood Avenue in Chicago. What can be done to enliven this eclectic 1-mile stretch, foster sense of place, and help local businesses thrive? Visit ElevateDevon.org to share ideas and help shape the future of Devon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: