zoka zola architecture + urban design   1737 west ohio street   chicago IL 60622    t 312 491 9431    f 312 491 9432    info@zokazola.com

Rogers Park, where residents speak 80 different languages, is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the USA.
Its extraordinary wealth is its beach along Lake Michigan. The intent of this proposal is to double this wealth through
the creation of a 190' wide street with 50' to 70' wide sidewalks.

Sheridan Road
Rogers Park

Zoka Zola, Rogers Park Urban Design, wide boulevard, vibrant public space

Comissioned by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning ( CMAP ) in collaboration with the Rogers Park Business Alliance, this project is meant to facilitate discussion of the future of Rogers Park by its community.

Concept: two public spaces:
1) existing - the beach
2) new - the boulevard

Zoka Zola, Rogers Park Urban Design, public beach and public street space

Zoka Zola, Rogers Park Urban Design, street market, wide sidewalks, covered bikelanes

new public space of Rogers Park Boulevard


In order to achieve this new public space at the existing Sheridan Road
4 main steps need to happen:

existing public space of the beach

A) zoning changes
B) streetscape changes
C) new “Errand building”
D) tunnel below Sheridan road resolving
its main problem of heavy through-traffic

A) Zoning Changes

Any new development is required to have a setback of 45’. The total sidewalk width is approximately 70’. This extremely wide sidewalk, unusual for any urban street world-wide, is a new urban public space suitable for all kinds of activities.

Any new development is allowed to be 95’ high. This height is optimal for the spatial articulation of the new wide Sheridan Road.

Commercial Ground Use
Any new development is required to have commercial space, 15’ high, on the ground level. The commercial uses will be positively influenced by the oportunities of the wide sidewalk.

Mixed-use Buildings
Any new development is required to have affordable units, rental units, live-work spaces and offices for small businesses.

B) Streetscape

The street is reorganized to be more pedestrian and bike-friendly, and also more fluid for throught-traffic.

• The sidewalks are now 5’ wider on each side allowing for more public activity along the corridor.
• Designate safe - and covered - bike paths are introduced.

Green strip “parkways” will be removed in order to make better use of the pavement. However, new green strips will be introduced next to the area’s “four plus one” buildings, allowing a profusion of green to develop along the corridor, through landscaping and the planting of ivy. Sidewalks will be replaced with permeable pavement.An inventory of existing trees will be made to identify the ones that will be replaced over time with trees like autumn blaze maples and other urban-resistant species. Ivy will grow up the facades of the “four plus one” buildings.

  Zoka Zola, Rogers Park Urban Design, section of Sheridan Road - existing   Zoka Zola, Rogers Park Urban Design, section of Sheridan Road - intermediate stage   Zoka Zola, Rogers Park Urban Design, section of Sheridan Road - final stage

section of existing Sheridan Road,

of intermediate stage,

and final stage.

  link to image of existing Sheridan Road
Zoka Zola, Rogers Park Urban Design, vibrant public boulevard, street market, street trees, bike lanes
typical section through the new Rogers Park Boulevard

Currently,the corridor’s “four plus one” buildings are short, dense, and dark. Any new development on these lots will be built according to the following new zoning requirements: 95’ tall and 45’ front setback with a public right of way
These zoning requirements will maintain the same FAR (Floor Area Ratio) , but will result in buildings with better quality spaces, good light, and views of Lake Michigan.
Properties located along the new Rogers Park Boulevard will enjoy many other benefits, including enhanced commercial opportunities and greater flexibility of use, along with becoming more valuable overall, due to their prime location next to the exceptional new public space.

Zoka Zola, Rogers Park Urban Design, existing buildings with changed streetscape, bike lanes, street trees
Plan of Sheridan Road indicating preserved buildings and changes in streetscape
The boulevard is a model street-scape of sustainability with permeable surfaces for better storm water management, street lights that get powered by the sun and wind, a covered bike lane that collects water that gets stored along the boulevard to be used for irrigation of the street trees.

Zoka Zola, Rogers Park Urban Design, green urban furniture, water collection

link to larger image

The walls on the both sides of the Loyola Red Line Station overpass are painted with murals by an artist, creating a vibrant gateway to Rogers Park.

link to larger image

C) Loyola “Errand” Building

Next to Loyola station is the ideal hub building that serves all daily needs of the community and public transport users.

Loyola “Errand” Building uses:
entrance to train station 1
car parking 2
bycicle parking 3
bycicle rental 4
grocery stores 5
hardware stores 6
pharmacy 7
fitness center 8
dry cleaning 9
shoe repair 10
child care 11
Zoka Zola, Rogers Park Urban Design, new street layout, wide sidewalks, public sidewalk use
Plan of Sheridan Road in its final stage

1. Loyola Red Line station 2. car parking and rental 3. bicycle parking and rental 4. street Fairs Kiosks 5. outdoor benches 6. bus stops 7. green mounds 8. community experimental landscaping beds 9. covered bike lanes 10. “forest” 11. preserved buildings 12. outdoor seating 13. playground 14. water sculpture 15. tree species of tall trunks and a variety of foliage colors 16. heated and cooled glass enclosures for public gathering
Zoka Zola, Rogers Park Urban Design, Loyola errand Building, multi-use building, Loyola red-line station

Errand building is located next to Loyola Red line Station showing its various functions

D) Sheridan Road Tunnel

The underground Sheridan Road tunnel is a better and less expensive solution for the area’s through traffic congestion than the extension of Lake Shore Drive.

Avoiding the controversial extension of Lake Shore Drive, the tunnel allows Sheridan Road’s hectic through traffic to and from the North - including commuters and large tractor trailers - to efficiently bypass
slower-moving local streets.

Unlike the current Sheridan Road, which is often dominated by this through traffic, the new Rogers Park Boulevard is a pedestrian and bike-friendly environment that faciliates easy access to lakefront parks and beach.

While continuing to allow automobile traffic, noise and exhaust levels are greatly reduced, encouraging cafes, farmers markets, street fairs, and other outdoor activities along its widened sidewalks.
Zoka Zola, Rogers Park Urban Design, proposed extension of lakeshore drive via a tunnel underneath Sheridan Road
extension of lake shore drive via a new tunnel underneath Sheridan Road


©Zoka Zola 2009
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Design: Zoka Zola
Dorothea Schulz, Adi Kohn, Jaime Diz Sanz, Jing Y Chen, Youngwoo Suh
Client: Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning - CMAP
Community design workshop with Rogers Park Business Alliance formerly DevCorp North, and members of the Rogers Park community