Moving Historic Streetscapes into the Future

APA Illinois Chapter


Thursday, September 14, 2017
2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m. CDT

CM | 1.25

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As the demographics and desires of today’s city-dwellers change, communities across the country must change as well.


This especially pertains to sense of place and the built environment. Realizing this, the City of Highland Park began an ambitious process of re-imagining its downtown experience to remain competitive for a new generation of residents, visitors, business owners, and investors.


With the goal of repositioning its existing 1980s downtown streetscape (originally designed by Sasaki) to accommodate today’s retail environment and multimodal user preferences, Highland Park engaged RATIO to create a master plan for streetscapes, wayfinding, signage, gateways, and restoration of the pedestrian arcade in the community’s Central Business District.


This session will focus on innovative best practices for creating a vibrant, engaging place where the physical environment communicates the values and reflects the best attributes of a community.

In the case of Highland Park, this was primarily accomplished through the integration of specific placemaking elements that included raised intersections, parklets, reverse-angle parking, enhanced signage and wayfinding, communications technology, and green infrastructure.


The principal takeaway for session attendees will be how to make historic streetscapes relevant to today’s world through the re-engagement of the public realm, integration of high-performance materials and elements, and creation of multi-generational spaces.


John Jackson

Confirmed Speaker

Partner at RATIO Architects University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Read More

Andy Cross, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Andy received his Masters in Urban Planning from UW-Milwaukee in 2003. After working as an Associate Planner in a suburb of the Twin Cities for five years, he joined the planning staff in Highland Park in 2008. Andy staffed the Design Review Commission for eight years, acted as the City ... Read More

Jameson Skaife

Confirmed Speaker

Landscape Architect at RATIO Architects University of Toronto I am intensely interested in using landscape architecture as the main agent for the re-organization and building of our cities, infrastructure, and all related natural and built systems. Read More

Joel Fontane, AICP

Confirmed Speaker


Contact Info

Trevor Dick,