Appearance Review Commission Offers Insights on Community Character

“Community Character” – a major theme of Wilmette’s Comprehensive Plan and focus of the upcoming Wilmette Talk #1 on Thursday, November 11th – can be difficult to define… it has many components and means different things to different people. To begin building a shared understanding of what community character means in Wilmette today and what role it might play in the future, the Ready Set Wilmette team met with the Village’s Appearance Review Commission in early October and together explored a series of questions:

  • Where is ‘sense of place’ strongest in Wilmette? Where might it be improved?
  • What does it feel like to spend time in Downtown Wilmette vs. Plaza del Lago vs. Green Bay Road? Should these experiences feel different and why?
  • What is the current “narrative” about Wilmette’s community character and is it accurate?

Defining Community Character in Wilmette

“It’s not a few big things… it is a collection of many. “

Through interactive discussion, the Appearance Review Commission noted that community character is much broader than the commonly associated elements of architecture, design, and building scale… it is about what you do when you arrive at a destination and the level of comfort one experiences in a physical space. Further, one’s enjoyment of what they’re doing (walking, dining, shopping, etc.) is as much a part of community character as the building or plaza where the activity occurs. Finally, community character is more than the success or quality of spaces and associated feelings, it is also about the experience and emotion of traveling to get there.

For a detailed summary of the engagement session and insights shared please click here. Special thanks to the Commission for sharing their evening, knowledge, and perspectives with us.

The Conversation Continues on November 11th

Please join us as we continue the conversation on Community Character at the upcoming Community Event and Wilmette Talk #1 on Thursday, November 11th. Learn more about the event and RSVP by clicking the button below.

Community character is the diversity of how our community both looks and feels, and is impacted by the built and natural environment.”

– Appearance Review Commission

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