Results are in! Placemaking Poll is Closed, But We’re Just Getting Started…!

350+ Community Insights Shine Light on Desired Look, Feel and Future of Devon

The Placemaking Poll closed on May 18th with more than 350 responses and 340+ comments! We want to thank each and every one of you who spent time sharing your thoughts, visions, and hopes for the future of Devon Avenue. Your feedback is the most important part of the Elevate Devon process, and is applied directly to the plan to help guide and inform corridor recommendations.

Your insights aided us in learning a lot. In the six weeks it was open, we heard different perspectives on everything from public art to lighting to landscaping to the pedestrian experience, and so much more. Sometimes there were clear favorites; other times, the community seemed to like a variety of options. You can dive into the poll results here and read a quick recap below.


Placemaking Poll Highlights:

Make Devon more pedestrian friendly! An overwhelming number of participants indicated that pedestrian amenities such as safer crossing treatments, corner bumpouts, parklets, and mini pedestrian plazas are high priorities. Many people commented on the narrow sidewalks and existing curbed planters obstructing movement and accessibility.

Make Space, Create Place. 80% of poll respondents stated they were supportive of removing parking to enhance the pedestrian environment but where this happens and to what degree are important considerations. To that point…

Location, location, location. Lots of comments noted the location of street improvements as pivotal to their potential success; Devon is not a “one size fits all” street! We hear you, and we couldn’t agree more. Site selection relative to the types of placemaking and corridor improvements will be an important part of the design process.

Bright, colorful murals that celebrate diversity were a top choice for public art. We heard in the comments the importance of working with local artists and representing the uniqueness of the neighborhood.

Durability and maintenance are key. Community comments honed in on the longevity of corridor aesthetics and need for placemaking components like murals, awnings, and landscaping to look fresh and attractive overtime. Corridor improvements and recommendations need to last and look great.

Cozy overhead lighting will create ambiance. Overhead + festoon lighting was the clear favorite (more than 50% of poll respondents voted for this type of lighting). Comments highlighted this style fits the neighborhood feel of Devon more than some of the other lighting options and would cater to an inviting pedestrian feel.

Respect all of our neighbors. When asked about seating options along Devon, more than a quarter of respondents specifically mentioned they would not be in support of hostile architecture in seating preferences. Hostile architecture is a term that refers to urban design strategies that purposely guide or restrict behavior. Corridor recommendations need to be inclusive and considerate of the interplay of all users with the varying environments on Devon.

Form follows function. Establishing and enhancing corridor identity through innovative placemaking strategies is a clear priority. However, these strategies must be rooted in “use factors” and functional upgrades, i.e. iconic seating that is comfortable, and not so low to the ground that it is difficult for elderly to use.

Signage and identity. Over half of respondents voted for business blade signage and over 40% for light pole identifiers. Insights here centered on creating a more inviting and engaging pedestrian environment that supports local businesses and celebrates local identity.

Cyclists don’t feel safe on Devon. 85% of cyclists who responded indicated that they are uncomfortable, feel unsafe, or avoid riding a bike on Devon. Corridor safety enhancements and traffic calming measures that aide in the reduction of vehicle speeds and greater awareness of pedestrians and cyclists are vital for the future of Devon.


What’s Next?

We’ll be taking the results of the Placemaking Poll, community workshop, pop-ups, and comments mapped via the website back to our Steering Committee in mid-June to discuss next steps and direction. Themes and consensus established from this community engagement is already being shared with the urban designers who will help us turn your vision into a reality.

The next few months will be spent formulating recommendations that will create a vibrant, safe, and thriving Devon Avenue for residents, pedestrians, businesses, visitors, and all who frequent the corridor.

Once those designs and recommendations are decided on, we’ll have a Community Open House (date TBD) where we’ll share the ways we used your feedback to shape the future of the corridor.

If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe below to stay involved and engaged! Plan updates, draft recommendations, and community open house date to come.

Placemaking Poll Closes Tomorrow, Wednesday May 18th

Placemaking Poll Closes Tomorrow Wednesday, May 18th… Scroll Down to Vote for Corridor Design Concepts!

Join the hundreds of community members who have voted for the placemaking and corridor design concepts they’d like to see prioritized on Devon. From walkability and traffic calming to public art, events and more!

Launched on April 6th, this short + sweet visual poll is filled with images and concepts inspired by local feedback! Take it today to vote for the visuals and priorities you want to see happen on Devon. The poll only takes 5-10 minutes to complete and closes end of day on May 18th.

Thanks to all who shared, the poll has closed. Subscribe for project updates on the homepage to have results emailed to you.


Stop Power + Stay Power: Locals Share Insights at Pop-Ups & Virtual Workshop

Stop Power, Stay Power, Identity and Traffic Calming – Residents and businesses identify what they want most for Devon Avenue!

Thanks again to all who have participated so far! Remember to take our Placemaking Poll before it closes on May 18th!

We can do it alone, or we could do it together

Higher, by Zeshan B

Creating an active Devon was the theme of the evening for our Virtual Community Workshop on April 27th. The meeting started out by listening to local artist Zeshan B’s song “Higher.” Over the course of the meeting, we heard ideas about bringing vibrant sights, smells and sense of touch to enhance the Devon experience.

At the workshop we recapped our progress to date and had the privilege of hearing from local business owners and residents about their ideas for the future of Devon. Participants agreed that we are stronger together, and that the corridor needs a unified identity that embraces its diversity of businesses, people and places. Some highlights of feedback we received are below:

  • People want places to linger – places like coffee shops, breweries, and bookstores that encourage folks to stick around Devon
  • Creative synergy and corridor identity – use art, identity, signage and traffic calming to give the area synergy and connectedness; attract businesses to fill gaps, and keep you wanting to walk about and experience Devon.
  • Stop power is stay power – so many people travel down Devon, but how do we make them stop? We need to add elements like art + identity to the street that catch your eye and encourage you to pause on Devon.
Corridor Pop-Up at Devon Market

Click on the links below to view the Workshop Presentation and summary of findings from Poll #1 where 640+ locals identified their priorities for Devon. Further – many participants shared comments adding value and context to the poll results. We value your ideas and continued involvement in this process.


Virtual Workshop Tonight! Join Us at 5:30pm on Zoom for local music, local ideas, and local placemaking

Drumroll … … … The Elevate Devon Virtual Community Workshop is tonight and trust us, you do not want to miss this inspiring, interactive and informational night of music, ideas, realtime polling and local placemaking. Set your timers, mark your calendars and when 5:30 CST hits, click the button below.

· Partake in Shaping the Future of Devon, You Know You Want To ·

Meet up with friends and neighbors online tonight – Wednesday, April 27th from 5:30 to 7pm! In addition to local tunes to kick-off the evening, much loved businesses from Rogers Park and Edgewater will be zooming-in to share their thoughts on Devon. Come learn about emerging placemaking priorities (psst… did someone say business activations, outdoor dining and pedestrian improvements?) and add your insights to the mix. We will also be breaking down poll results and feedback shared at Monday’s pop-up events.


DETAILS

Elevate Devon Virtual Community Workshop
Wednesday, April 27th at 5:30pm
Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86310325445

Call-in: (312) 626-6799


Thanks to all who swung by Nori, Devon Market and the student center to chat!

Subscribe to Elevate Devon:
We keep it light. By subscribing you will receive occasional project updates and happy placemaking announcements about Elevate Devon via email:


Reminder: Corridor Pop-Ups Tomorrow, Monday 4/25 from 2:30-6pm

Pop Over, Swing By, Say Hello!

Hello Friends + Neighbors of Devon! A reminder that our Elevate Devon Corridor Pop-Ups will be taking place tomorrow, Monday, April 25th. 

  • Please join us in the patio of Nori Sushi (1235 W. Devon) from 2:30 to 4pm.
  • Devon Market near the entry (1440 W Devon) from 4:30 to 6pm. 
  • We will also be at Loyola’s Damen Student Center from 11:30am to 1:30pm.

Swing by for 5-minutes! Learn about the project, vote for corridor improvements, and ask questions. Special thanks to Shaul at Devon Market and Pete at Nori Sushi for hosting us.

Fun Fact: According to a 2021 Chicago Reader Article, the mural on the side of Devon Market, which includes a blonde mermaid riding a shrimp, is in fact a depiction of market owner, Shaul Basa’s wife… and we are here for it! Check out the mural and say hello tomorrow.

2021 Chicago Reader Article by by Maya Dukmasova

Virtual Workshop

Unable to make the pop-ups? Our Virtual Community Workshop is this Wednesday, April 27th via Zoom. Click the button below to add the zoom link to your calendar or register via Facebook. It is going to be a full week of Devon-ing (action verb!) — and we can’t wait to connect with you all. Join us in discovering possibilities, unlocking potential, and shaping the future of Devon!


What else? Tons of ideas are percolating via the Elevate Devon Placemaking Poll. Take it today to let us know your preferences and vision for Devon!

Tons of great feedback is percolating as part of the Placemaking Poll, which launched on April 6th. This online visual poll builds on local input already shared to further understand urban design preferences and priorities. If you haven’t already taken it, click the button below! It’s filled with image concepts inspired by local feedback. Let us know your preferences and vision for the future of Devon! It should only take you 5-10 minutes to complete.

Elevate Devon Virtual Community Workshop:
April 27th from 5:30 – 7:00pm on Zoom
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86310325445

click here to register on facebook

Project Background

Elevate Devon is a pivotal corridor study focused on enhancing Devon Avenue between Sheridan Road and Ravenswood Avenue in Chicago. The Edgewater Chamber of Commerce, Rogers Park Business Alliance, and Loyola University Chicago joined forces and funding to seek community input as part of this process.

What types of corridor improvements and design enhancements do you want to see? What can be done to enliven this eclectic 1-mile stretch, foster a sense of place, and help local businesses thrive? We want your ideas!

Patio at Nori Sushi

Zoom Zoom: 1-Week Until the April 27th Virtual Community Workshop

Join us next Wednesday, April 27th at 5:30pm on Zoom for the Elevate Devon Virtual Community Workshop!

Meet up with friends, neighbors and local businesses online to learn more about this exciting corridor project, share ideas, and get answers to your questions. The Elevate Devon Team will be Zoom-ing in to connect with locals and share info on project curiosities like:

  • Why is Elevate Devon happening? What is the timeline?
  • What were the results of the first Poll that inspired 640+ locals to share their wants and wishes for Devon?
  • How will the results of the Placemaking Poll (take it here) be used?
  • What types of corridor priorities are emerging?
  • When are we likely to see improvements take place along Devon?

DETAILS

Elevate Devon Virtual Community Workshop
Wednesday, April 27th at 5:30pm
Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86310325445


What can you expect?

In addition to a project overview and recap on community feedback, Virtual Workshop Go-ers will have the opportunity to add context to the conversation through real-time mini-polls, Q+A, and group ideation… all in the comfort of their slippers, should they choose to wear such… just saying. Bottom line — we want to hear from you!

Add the zoom link to your calendar, mark “attend” on Facebook, and join us:

  1. Copy and paste the info below to your calendar:
    Elevate Devon Virtual Community Workshop:
    April 27th at 5:30pm via Zoom
    https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86310325445
  2. RSVP via the Facebook Event: click here
  3. Subscribe to Elevate Devon:
    We keep it light. By subscribing you will receive occasional project updates and happy placemaking news about Devon via email:

We look forward to seeing you online on April 27th! Craving an in-person connection? Swing by our Corridor Pop-Ups this coming Monday April 25th, where we will be in the patio at Nori Sushi from 2:30-4pm and at Devon Market in the parking lot from 4:30-6pm; weather pending.


Rain Delay: Pop-Ups Rescheduled to Monday, April 25th

When it comes to outdoor events, Mother Nature wins… sunshine, we’re coming for you!

Hello Elevate Devon subscribers: The unpredictable ebb and flow of weather and spring showers is upon us. Due to thunderstorms, we are rescheduling our outdoor Elevate Devon Pop-Ups (originally planned for this Wednesday, April 13th) to Monday, April 25th! The good news? It should be warmer out and we look forward to connecting with even more locals and happy impromptu foot traffic. Read and repeat, precipitation will not be a damper on leveling up community voices.

Please re-mark your calendar and join us on the afternoon of Monday, April 25th in the patio at Nori Sushi (1235 W. Devon) from 2:30 to 4pm and Devon Market near the entry (1440 W Devon) from 4:30 to 6pm. 

Swing by for 5-minutes … or more! Share what time you have. Learn about the project, vote for corridor improvements, meet the team, and ask questions. We are here for it all. Join us in discovering possibilities, unlocking potential, and shaping the future of Devon!


Save the Date: Virtual Workshop, April 27th at 5:30 pm. Subscribe below to receive Zoom details via email. It’s that easy!

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!

This or That? The Elevate Devon Placemaking Poll is LIVE!

It’s officially here and ready for the taking! Click the button below to take the Placemaking on Devon Poll. Scroll through images and select those that reflect aspects of community design you like and favor most. From mini plazas and crosswalk treatments, to public art, signage and landscaping… now is your chance to help shape the future of Devon. Show us what concepts you dig.


Why are we doing a visual preference poll?

Placemaking ingredients add up! Things like bumpouts, murals, planters, benches, community events… they come together to create an environment we see, feel and experience. Further, they have the ability to reflect, respond and cater to local life, help businesses thrive, and share a story of community character all their own.

You are the local experts! Your feedback and preferences will be used to develop corridor goals, design strategies and priorities to help make Devon a more flavorful, vibrant, and inviting destination. We’ll say it again — placemaking ingredients add up. Share today to help discover possibilities and unlock potential.


Let’s Dive In

The placemaking poll includes the categories listed below and should take you between 5-15 minutes to complete. Click here to get started!

  1. Local Identity and Character
  2. Places to Sit, Gather and Dine
  3. Walkability, Biking and Safety

Pop Ups, Placemaking Polls, and Parklets

Pop Ups, Placemaking Polls, and Parklets… Oh My!

Loyola Spotlight: Student Led Engagement

To close out March, Elevate Devon’s Student Ambassadors hosted a pop up on Thursday March 31st, at Loyola University Chicago’s Damen Student Center. Big thanks to everyone who stopped by to share. We heard tons of great insights and will be sharing a summary of feedback soon!


Elevate Devon Pop Up Tour

The Elevate Devon Pop Up Tour is just getting started! Be sure to visit us on April 13th at Nori Sushi in the outdoor patio from 2:30 to 4pm, and at Devon Market near the entrance from 4:30 to 6pm. Whether you’re getting a California Roll, stopping by to pick up some produce, or just in the neighborhood, slow your roll and share your feedback! These pop ups are an opportunity for you to identify priorities for different projects on Devon.


Phoenix Article on Elevate Devon

Shout-out to the Loyola Phoenix for publishing a wonderful article about Elevate Devon! Student engagement and involvement is important to the Elevate Devon process, and we are thrilled to be reaching more students. Our very own Steering Committee member, Jennifer Clark and Loyola Student Ambassador, Riley Kelly, shared their thoughts and hopes for the project below:

“I love the stretch of Devon from Sheridan to Ravenswood and I know it has the potential to be a very vibrant area, so I’m excited to be a part of seeing that process come to life…”

Riley Kelly
loyola university chicago student, steering committee member

“It’s about creating a vision for Devon… an environment that is inviting and ripe for business, where businesses feel supported, where pedestrians and students feel comfortable, and want to walk down Devon because they feel safe and because there are cool businesses to go to. Do people want to see more artwork? Better bus stops and crosswalks? Better landscaping?”

Jennifer Clark
Associate Vice President of Campus and Community Planning

Moving From Mini Poll to Placemaking Poll

More than 640 of you shared your thoughts with us on the future of Devon as part of the first poll, which closed the morning of April 4th – you told us what works, what doesn’t, and what you’d like to see happen. We’ll be sharing a summary of our first poll with you soon. If you haven’t already, subscribe below to have the results emailed to you.

Using the feedback from the first poll and insights from the comment map, we put together a “Placemaking on Devon” Poll, which is going live on this website on April 6th.  This online visual survey will build on the feedback generated as part of mini-poll to further understand urban design preferences and placemaking priorities.


Definition Spotlight: The Power of Parklets

Did You Know: As highlighted by the images below, a parklet provides more space for seating, dining, community events, bike parking, and more! They temporarily reclaim street parking to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment, boost foot traffic, and help make drivers more mindful of speed limits. The Chicago Department of Transportation has a dedicated program called ‘Make Way For People‘ to help install more parklets in Chicago. The upcoming “Placemaking on Devon” Poll will explore parklet amenities to understand those features you favor most!