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Award Winners



Midtown Square (Glenview, IL)  A mixed-use redevelopment in downtown Glenview within walking distance of the Metra commuter station that is a manifestation of the Village's new form-based code



The 9750 (Orland Park, IL)  A high density mixed-use building next to Orland Park's Metra commuter station and the first project in a significant TOD plan/project the Village is undertaking.



A Vision for Division (Plainfield, IL)   A "restoration" plan for a corridor that was the original urbanism that was changed by suburban development--and IDOT policies. The plan is being implemented.



River Street Shared Street (Batavia, IL).  A downtown street in an underutilized block that was redesigned as a zero-step shared street and transformed the block.


Near South Loop Master Plan  A richly detailed plan for establishing a vibrant neighborhood where railroad yards and pedestal buildings exist now.


After Burnham: The Notre Dame Plan of Chicago 2109   This was submitted by University of Notre Dame and is an ambitious transformation of Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago applying new urbanism, urban agriculture and sustainable development practices across the region following economic decline and repurposing of the region's urban and natural landscape.


Growing Green: Park Forest Sustainability Plan  A community-based plan for transforming this post-war suburb into a sustainable place and reinforcing and improving the urbanism that presently exists.


Best Block


Midtown Square

Glenview, IL


Fitzgerald Assoicates Architects, PC


Located at a prominent but underdeveloped intersection in an upscale suburb, this entry represents the redevelopment of privately‐ and publicly‐held lands into a new mixed‐use transit‐oriented development.

With easy access to commuter rail and bus routes, the Project (under construction) will stand three and four stories tall and include 142 luxury apartments in one‐ and two‐bedroom formats and feature a rich selection of amenities including a club room, fitness center, and secured bicycle storage as well as office spaces for on‐site management.




Three different retail spaces totaling nearly 11,000 square feet, will attract high‐end national retailers and local restaurants and specialties. The corner retail space, measuring 1,700 square feet, includes a drive through lane designed with the intent to buffer its traffic from pedestrian thoroughfares and parking areas.

Parking areas are arranged through the interior of the site and in a secured parking garage within the building, accommodating a total of 218 automobiles for residents, visitors, and shoppers.




The highly‐walkable site contains landscaped pedestrian‐only walkways that bisect the full‐block site to allow residents, visitors, shoppers, and neighbors to travel through and around the site.


At the time the Project was seeking municipal approval, Glenview had only recently adopted a form‐based code for this and select other downtown sites. The Project was the first new development to be reviewed entirely under the new system.



Best Regional Plan


After Burnham: The Notre Dame Plan of Chicago 2109 


Notre Dame School of Architecture Graduate Urban Design Studio


Like the Burnham Plan, Chicago 2109 entails architecture, urban design and planning at a metropolitan scale encompassing the seven counties of northeastern Illinois, with particular attention to Chicago. Intended as a visionary research project, the design was undertaken over a period of eighteen months beginning in late 2011.


Not presuming environmental or economic apocalypse, rather an extended period of 21st century economic and population decline followed by revival, Chicago 2109 seeks long-term environmental, economic and cultural sustainability in metropolitan Chicago by illustrating good land use, good transportation policy, good building practices, and good urban form. 




Anticipating the decay and abandonment of post-1945 sprawl suburbs (primarily for infrastructure cost and demographic reasons), Chicago 2109 reclaims some 70% of metropolitan Chicago’s suburban footprint as open land for agriculture, commercial forestry, passive waste-water treatment, forest preserves and prairie. Combined with a damming and re-reversal of the Chicago River and the creation of new active (city) and passive (town and country) water treatment districts, the Chicago 2109 proposals would both recharge regional aquifers and send more water back to the Great Lakes Watershed. 




Chicago 2109 would retain regional interstate highways, but re-creates in-city interstate rights-of-way as urban thoroughfares. It re-establishes a regional agrarian-urban culture of rural-to-urban settlements that includes Hamlets, Villages, Towns, and Cities, with agricultural activities, population density and land coverage appropriate to each. It envisions a poly-centric metropolis of urban neighborhoods and towns along existing city and regional rail lines improved and extended, and rural settlements in the landscapes in between. It triples the City’s open land, and depicts a public realm of parks, plazas, squares, avenues, boulevards and streets established as normative and beautiful spaces for all. 



Finally, Chicago 2109 reclaims the Chicago Circle freeway interchange and re-conceives the Plan of Chicago’s Civic Center originally intended for that site. It restores Burnham’s proposed east-west civic axis, making the focus a new high-rise City Hall at Congress and Halsted, and also creates a long north-south cross-axis boulevard parallel to Halsted on re-purposed interstate rights-of-way; and proposes both interventions for purposes practical and symbolic. 



Practically, Chicago 2109 reestablishes a grand, formal and dense--but human-scaled--neighborhood at the core of Chicago; symbolically, it redirects the meaning of Chicago’s historic center away from celebrating unsustainable crony capitalism, and (after Burnham) toward a better representation of the dynamic reciprocity of Chicago’s environmental, commercial, civic, and sacred sensibilities, ambitions and duties.


Best Town


Growing Green:  Park Forest Sustainability Plan

Park Forest, IL


Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning


The community has a long-standing commitment to the “three E’s” of sustainability—environment, economy, and equity. As a master planned community built in the 1950s and 60s, the Village was essentially designed as an early model for New Urbanism, with land use patterns and physical form that facilitate walkability to neighborhood shopping, schools, parks, and houses of worship.

While the community is located near the edge of our region’s developed area, it is a relatively dense, infill suburb. The Village is also racially, ethnically, and economically diverse, and has welcomed residents from all walks of life since its founding. In addition, the Village’s Board of Trustees has made it a major budgetary goal to establish policies to achieve financial, environmental, and infrastructure sustainability.



Adding to these foundational tenets, the Village has led a number of green initiatives in recent years to draw community attention to sustainable practices, such as establishing a rain barrel distribution program, fostering local food production via a farmers’ market and food co-op, rehabilitating an 87-acre wetland and peat bog, and implementing demonstration projects for stormwater management and renewable energy. However, Village leadership felt that a more cohesive vision and action plan was needed to achieve their goal of becoming the greenest city in the Chicago metropolitan region. 


In 2011, Park Forest was granted technical assistance from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to develop such a plan. Over the course of a year, CMAP worked with the community to create its sustainability plan, which was unanimously adopted as an element of the Village’s comprehensive plan by the Village Mayor and Board of Trustees in May 2012. The sustainability plan is comprehensive, detailed, pragmatic, and implementable. It was developed with the input of over 450 stakeholders, and has the strong support of the Village’s governing body and management team.

The sustainability plan is a policy document that emphasizes programs, strategies, and actions rather than specific site planning and design concepts. However, land use and development recommendations were heavily considered throughout the plan in order to inform regulatory updates that would result in on-the-ground changes in the built environment. The plan also includes a detailed Audit of Zoning and Subdivision Codes that will guide the current revision to the Village’s ordinances. The Audit’s recommendations echo many key credits in the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system. The Village is currently moving forward with realizing the plan’s regulatory recommendations by updating its Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances with further assistance from CMAP.


Each plan section includes a detailed implementation approach, which identifies potential funding sources, responsible parties for carrying the plan’s recommendations forward, phasing information, and further references and resources.

The many plan recommendations include overseeing the creation of a bicycle and pedestrian plan as well as the Village’s Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance update, initiating several community outreach and education programs, establishing a community garden program, and distributing priority action steps from the plan to Village departments to ensure that they are moving forward with implementation.


Best Buildng


The 9750

Orland Park, IL


RTKL Associates, Inc.


This is a recently completed block in an evolving master planned transit-oriented development in a community that first aspired to this over a century ago. The project is a dense mid-rise, apartment building of 295 units on a 3.5 acre site across a village green from a recently built transit station. Built on a sloping site the project varies in height from three and four stories to six stories in a compact block bridging from an established arterial into the heart of the new development. The block comprises 492,400 gross square feet including 348,000 square feet of apartments including amenities, 140,000 square feet of parking and 4,000 square feet of retail



In 2000 the Village acquired RTA funding for a comprehensive study of the viability and shape of a transit oriented development, a rebirth of the dream that began in 1879. The study set forth design and development principles eventually realized in a master plan approved in 2006. Strong public participation coalesced around a vision of a true downtown for Orland. The plan centered on a new Metra commuter station opened in 2006, a “crescent park” fanning out in front and a grid of dense development extending out to LaGrange Road and 143rd Street. 9750 is the first project to rise in a series of blocks that will complete the master plan for a high density vibrant, varied and integrated TOD district.



As the first large-scale structure in this new town center this project has a slate of responsibilities to fulfill. It has been important to provide a certain minimum mass and capacity to establish the viability of the district. The first phase needed to be sufficient to stand alone on a site that will later be filled with a variety of compatible uses. The success of those future uses will in large measure depend on the success of this step. And yet the mass of this building required a form and detail that would break down the scale so as to begin the process of establishing pedestrian friendly streetscapes. The project was able to take advantage of its sloping site to bring one scale and expression to the frontage on 143rd Street and a taller, denser appearance at the crescent where planning goals suggested a strong edge to honor the large common park and development goals suggested the best rental units could be accommodated.


As the product of a public/private partnership, an important initial step in realizing a long held goal of transit oriented development and a first foray into dense housing for the village, the project was destined to provide many important lessons.

The initial success of leasing the property has certainly demonstrated that even in a community that has not featured a tradition of dense, urban housing this model can be successful. To achieve this, a number of issues needed to be addressed. The existing density limits, even as envisioned in the master plan, would not support a continuation of the style of development of this phase. As a result the village intends to revisit the plan and study higher densities and differing approaches to allocating the density in future phases. 


The use of the wrapped parking format was new to the community and to the developer but has proven not only to be a viable model for leasing but a highly successful one. It has allowed the development to project a friendly presence on the streetscape while simultaneously creating private spaces without eroding the compact urban block. The tenant profile has also been a welcome surprise with more, older, “empty nester” tenants than initially anticipated. Yet there is also a strong demand for young families which also skews the profile somewhat from anticipations. This will provide for an ideally varied and integrated community experience as the district advances and will surely have some influence on the composition of future uses.


Best Street


River Street Shared Street

Batavia, IL


Altamanu, Inc.


The River Street Streetscape project was originally identified as a key opportunity to promote downtown revitalization in the Batavia Downtown Streetscape Master Plan. Though the street was in disrepair this section of the street had existing restaurants and some fine historic buildings that could, with assistance, form a fledgling downtown dining and entertainment destination; The River District.


The project is strategically situated between two bridges across the Fox River. The design team saw the opportunity to create a new public space that could link to City Hall and festival park on the other side of the river and draw visitors and residents across the river to a revitalized destination. 



City staff and representatives called for economic revitalization. The public called for something different that would draw attention to the downtown. All saw the need for a gathering space on the east side of the river; however, the project had to be within the public right-of-way.

Working with the community and City staff, Altamanu redesigned the street as a unique shared public space within the downtown core. It offers the flexibility to be used as low volume trafficked street or to be reconfigured for large-scale public and civic events. 



Existing Conditions (Above and below)

The new streetscape is curbless and a continuous plane of brick pavers stretches from building face to building face creating a visually and physically unified space. The streetscape design, gateway arch, unique street furniture and the high quality materials used throughout, all help to announce this street as something distinct. The incorporation of the work of local artists incorporated into gates and railings provide interest. Trees, planters and custom designed benches invite users to linger. Businesses have taken advantage of the opportunity with sidewalk dining to further enliven the public realm. 


The street is designed for maximum flexibility. With the exception of light poles, bicycle racks, and in ground planters for trees, all other streetscape elements can be moved by the City for either temporary events or to accommodate the future usage and needs as the area continues to develop. Those elements that are in fixed locations were carefully placed to allow for maximum flexibility. Each storefront is afforded space for an outdoor café or other outdoor commercial use with impeding public use of the space. The bollards are moveable and may be placed at either end of the street to close the street off from vehicular traffic during events.

Green solutions were incorporated wherever the opportunity allowed. All street trees are given copious amounts of planting soil to allow for large and healthy mature street trees. This is achieved through the use of raised planters in conjunction with below grade soil vaults which expand the planting soil accessible to the trees underneath the paved surfaces. Native and adapted planting species were used in all planting areas and permeable pavers are used at the low point of the site to allow storm water infiltration.


Best Neighborhood Plan




Near South Loop Master Plan

Chicago, IL


MGLM Architects 


New Urbanism has often been noted for its exemplar work at retrofitting the suburbs, however, the very beginning of the Charter boasts the goal of first restoring our existing urban centers within coherent metropolitan regions.  Chicago’s near south Loop is a rare opportunity to display the Charter’s tenets at the heart of the country’s third most populous city.



In Chicago’s Near South Loop there exists a large number of undeveloped and underutilized parcels, perhaps most notably, the large vacant site where Solon Beman’s Grand Central Station once stood along with the adjacent parcels occupied by its tracks.  This area includes the historic Printer’s Row neighborhood and the mega block Dearborn Park development.  The Near South Loop plays a vital role in the future of the downtown by supporting some of Chicago’s most beloved places.  




The Loop, Grant Park and lakefront, the Art Institute, numerous colleges, Museum Campus, Soldier Field, and the Chicago River are all within a comfortable walk.  Despite its alluring proximities, the area has not yet been fully developed, and while it holds a complexity of constraints and as-yet unmitigated conditions, the opportunities are nearly endless.



This proposal lays out a scenario for growth that attempts to best balance the needs and desires of a diverse and overlooked area situated at an important confluence in the City’s cultural, economic, and physical geography.


The plan lays out a complete, yet flexible, vision for growth in the South Loop, including expansion of the central business district and completion of the downtown neighborhood fabric. The mixed-use neighborhood would include a diversity of building types that fall within the T5 and T6 Transect Zones. Every aspect of the proposal is intrinsically linked to the City’s existing transit system and brings with it the density, framework, and demand for improved expansion of that system.                                 

Best Corridor


A Vision for  Division

Plainfield, IL


Civic ArtWorks


The Division Street (Illinois Route 59) corridor in Plainfield, Illinois, had become increasingly congested over the years as traffic made its way through the Village’s historic core. In response, the Illinois Department of Transportation widened the roadway in the hopes that cars and trucks would be able to navigate it more quickly. 




Once the project was implemented traffic did ease, however, unintended consequences along the thoroughfare soon arose. Property owners put historic single-family homes up for sale while other owners requested demolition permits from the Village. The public right-of-way became increasingly unsafe to walk along and crossing the street became more treacherous. New commercial development plans included drive-thru fast food restaurants and strip center shopping. The once proud character of Division Street was in jeopardy. 


The planning and design team worked alongside 342 community members and garnered 1,142 individual points of feedback via an online platform. This allowed for a level playing field and unprecedented open access to the planning and design team from the start of the project to its conclusion. Those unable to at­tend a meeting or who were uncomfortable speaking in front of a crowd had equal opportunity to participate in a more inclusive discussion. “Squeaky wheels” received grease by the merit of their ideas, not the loudness of their voice or advantageous position within the community. 




It was not long before the community’s plan had its first opportunity to affect change. A proposal for new development along Division Street was presented to the Village of Plainfield’s Plan Commission soon after “A Vision for Division” was completed. Citing inconsistencies with the community’s beliefs of what the corridor should become, the development team was asked to revise their plans.


Weeks later, a commercial strip center with a drive-thru business setback off of the street became a mixed-use building with parking placed in back in order to strengthen the character of the street. With these changes made, as recommended by the Plan Commission, the Village Board then had the opportunity to bless the project and encouraged the development team to continue a dialogue with the community. What could have been a contentious exchange became a productive and well-intentioned conversation amongst all parties. 




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