Millennium Reserve Wayfinding Plan

Calumet Region / Southeast Chicago, Illinois

The Lakota Group led a consulting team to develop a comprehensive and holistic wayfinding concept for the Calumet and southeast Chicago lakefront region. This enormous and fascinating region spans 900 square miles from downtown Chicago to the Indiana Dunes and includes environmental treasures, industrial sites, struggling urban areas, bustling small towns and new suburbs. The Lakota Group worked with a bistate steering committee drawn from governmental, charitable, educational and local groups and led an extensive public engagement process. The resulting wayfinding concept represents a strategy to help bring people together to celebrate and promote the area’s unique history, communities, and natural features, and is part communications plan, part community engagement strategy and part plan for the physical improvements that will guide people from place to place.

I’ve had the opportunity to be part of several open space, wayfinding, and recreational area planning projects lead by the Lakota Group for the Calumet region in recent years. In each instance, Lakota has taken a strategic and inclusive approach to stakeholder engagement – something of particular importance to my agency.Suellen Burns, Senior Advisor - Millennium Reserve • Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Key elements include continuing to develop strong, cohesive, and inclusive messaging, including an essential story of the region as well as conceptual branding; employing meaningful community engagement; and implementing on-the-ground improvements beginning with identified demonstration sites set in a wheel-and-spoke framework stretching throughout the region.