The community/site I will discuss in this paper is the Village of Evergreen Park. Evergreen Park is located within Illinois. I have been a resident of the community for almost two years. I thought this would be a perfect site to unpack as it relates to urban sustainability practices and development, because it’s a relatively small suburb with a denser population and located adjoining to the City of Chicago. In general, Evergreen Park total area is 3.5 square miles. The mapping tool allows me to capture some interesting aspects of the site within the 1 kilometer radius. I will also mention some localities outside of my initial study area, as they have pertinent effects on my overall ...view middle of the document...
Evergreen Park is a small-scale self-sufficient community, which manifest many of the characteristics associated with “small is beautiful” eco-ideals as outlined in Chapter 7 under section “Rural Autonomy” of “Rethinking the Neighborhood Option”.
The importance of Sustainable Development
I believe the conversation of “sustainability” hinges on our ability to understand how “sprawl “influences planning. “The New Planning Agenda” uses the term “sustainable development” as a way which enables a community to persist over generations. A community is only valuable if it can maintain itself by supplying needed resources and services to its residents while maintaining a healthy environmental equilibrium. Without a “sustainable approach” to planning in suburban communities like Evergreen Park, sprawl will persist and the natural “sense of place” will be thrown off kilter. Both high and low density cities need a “sustainable planning” approach to optimize the efficiency of the area in community living, social functions, transportation, environmental health, goods offered and services rendered.
Urban sustainability approach to planning challenges policy makers to think creatively about best practices. It also fuels innovation around the constant balance between human demands and ecological preservation. In order for our communities to grow robustly, we must adopt an intentional “sustainable” planning approach as a way to govern life for our cities.
The site area I will analyzing is 0.5 radius from 92nd Kedzie starting point. The streets that are within that boundary extend out to West of 86th & Kedzie, 93rd & South California, 96th & Kedzie and 93rd South Millard.
Street & Road Design
Evergreen Park is designed according to the grid system. The grid layout of the community increases the “walkability” factor for residents. Getting to and from neighbors’ houses and local shopping centers is easily accessible. All residential blocks flow out to Kedzie, 95th Street, Western, Pulaski or 87th Street. Traffic flows away from the residential streets to the main arterial roads. It is important to note that all major commercial/retail space is located on the periphery of the village on major streets. Multi-family housing lay on the outskirts of the village. Residential streets are relatively wide, with a good distance between houses and sidewalks. There raised curb side creates a good boundary between pedestrians and cars on the principal arterial road. All in all, Evergreen Park has functional streets.
Within my study area at least 70% of all land being used is reserved for residential living. Low density residential development is prominent within the village. Yukich Fields serves as the primary park for open space usage. The multi-functionality of the park includes pedestrian walking, running, baseball games and other outdoor activities. 20% of the land dedicated to commercial/retail space is dedicated to...