Urban Design/Mixed-Use

Wheaton Downtown Revitalization

Wheaton, Illinois

Embedding Complete Street principles in a reimagined historic district

Over the past decade, the City of Wheaton, Illinois has undertaken a journey to elevate its historic downtown district to a regional destination. The targeted implementation projects identified in the Downtown Plan leveraged public investment in the shared public realm to generate private development interest and investment into the community’s future.

The goals set by the City and community are guided by design principles that facilitate interaction of people and promote commerce, smart growth and redevelopment. From the onset of the planning stage, the target outcome was to create complete streets for transit, walkability, commerce, bicycling, recreation, sustainability and safety. Metric-based strategies were employed to guide decision making through the multiple phases of design. By capturing baseline measurements and defining success at the planning stage, the City can track the metrics over time to understand the added value to property owners, level of increase to sales tax revenues, increase in tree canopy, increase in stormwater infiltration, and increase of redevelopment interest and execution.

Design Workshop is currently working with the City to implement the Downtown Plan’s recommendations. Since 2017, twelve blocks of streetscape have been constructed with additional public plazas and streetscape being implemented in 2021.

Services Provided: Public Engagement, Land Use Planning, Streetscape Design, Strategic Planning, Signage & Wayfinding Design, Construction Observation


City of Wheaton


V3, Primera Engineering, Ethos Architecture