Located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Argyle Street is a Southeast Asian community and the very first shared street in Illinois. In 2013, the City of Chicago initiated a streetscape redevelopment project that would transform the street and revitalize the historic neighborhood, adding to its vibrant character. The city selected Argyle Street as a shared streetscape pilot project with the aim of boosting business for local shops and restaurants, encouraging community engagement, and providing more space for hosting outdoor festivals and street fairs, such as the summertime Argyle Night Market festival.
The new design prioritizes accessibility, green infrastructure and the pedestrian experience, slowing down traffic and creating a safe and inviting gathering space for residents and tourists. Asphalt streets and concrete sidewalks were replaced with paving stones of different colors, indicating car and bike lanes, as well as defining the pedestrian-only areas. The street design uses Eco-PrioraTM in a permeable paver application in Premier Coffee Creek to indicate the raised crosswalks on the shared street, formerly dedicated to car traffic. Limestone was used to designate parking spots.
The new road slightly weaves around a series of planter beds installed to calm traffic, embellish the urban streetscape, and collect stormwater – a major issue in Chicago. Among several sustainable features, Argyle Street is being monitored for the effectiveness of its green infrastructure system in the hopes of providing valuable data for future developments. Since its completion the Argyle Streetscape project has won the ILASLA Honor Award for its notable design.