Urban Design + Planning

Construction Management

Architecture + Interiors

Sustainability + Educational Projects

Eco Vidal Design, Inc. (EVD) is a Chicago-based company specializing in architectural interior design, urban planning, construction management, sustainability services, and community engagement. EVD is a certified MDE/DBE/WBE business dedicated to creating innovative and sustainable design solutions for clients in the Chicago area and beyond.

Urban Design & Planning

As an urban planner, Carmen has worked for the City of Chicago DPD and Chicago Planning Commission for 12 years as a Lakefront and Planned Development Coordinator and with planning projects in Chicago, Brazil and Spain.

1. Northerly Island Park Planning

Photo by Eric Allix Rogers (CC BY-NC-ND)

Location: Chicago South Loop just south of the Museum Campus
Client: City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development
Planning: Carmen Vidal-Hallett as part of the City of Chicago DPD
Planning Completion Date: 1996
Site area: 117 acres

In 1994, Carmen Vidal-Hallett, was hired by the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development to begin the planning and transformation of Meigs Field into Northerly Island Park. The initial planning phase took two years of development before it was presented for approval before the Chicago Planning Commission. Planning stages included:
  • Historic research (Northerly Island was part of the Burhan Plan)
  • Preliminary sketches to study the size of wetlands and prairies
  • Coordination with government agencies including the Fire and Aviation Department to relocate the heliport and find a proper home for it. The Department of Transportation, the Army Corps of Engineers to plan for a proper shoreline protection, the department of the environment and the Chicago Park District
  • Numerous community meetings with civic organizations such as Friends of The Parks and the Lake Michigan Federation as well the neighborhood groups
  • Management of the selected A/E to move forward with the final plan.
  • Presentation of the plan to the Chicago Planning Commission for approval under the Lakefront Protection Ordinance. The park was finally completed after almost 20 years. Note that the original design is very similar to the final construction.

2. Curitiba

Photo by Mark Hallett

Location: Curitiba and Chicago
Client: Graham Foundation for Advance Studies in architecture
Planning and Development: Carmen Vidal-Hallett | Eco Vidal Design, Inc.
Completion Date:  2005 
Site area: N/A

Chicago architect Carmen Vidal-Hallett and her photojournalist husband Mark Hallett completed   a multimedia study comparing Chicago with  Curitiba in southern Brazil. Curitiba is a former backwater turned city of 1.5 million, which now rivals Chicago as a center of progressive urbanism. It was for this reason that the husband-and-wife team used their Graham Foundation grant to study the Brazilian city through Mark and Carmen’s photos and analysis. Results  were presented to all city government departments in Chicago and other cities such as Denver Colorado and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  The most successful project is the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which was adopted in  Chicago’s downtown area after Mayor Daley and Jaime Lerner discussed  its viability. 

Sam Assefa
Director, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, California
+1(312) 907-2701
Sustainability Project

3. Emerson/Foster

Location: Emerson/Foster, Evanston, Illinois
Client: ETV III
Site Plan: EVD
Site area: 117 acres

A West Evanston sustainable 131-unit residential-business planned development including 33% affordable housing. Carmen Vidal-Hallett, collaborated with Urban Works Architecture as a Project Manager coordinating the team, responsible for the urban planning and design, site plan design, putting together the zoning and urban planning analysis, representing the team in public presentations and negotiating with city officials. She also completed the pre-design for the interior courtyard town homes (one out of 4 types of buildings),and assisted Urban Works on the design of the other buildings. Green features include geothermal system, permaculture and native landscaping concepts, rain garden stormwater management, solar panels, green roofs and “the living wall.” Main exterior materials will include brick and Prodema wood paneling. This project was approved by the City of Evanston and ha been completed.

4. Austin Chicago Sustainability Master Plan & Cicero | Lake TOD

Location: Austin Chicago IL.
Client: Amara Enyia, Austin Coming Together
Planning and Design: Eco Vidal Design, Inc.
Completion Date: 2012
Site area: 7.16 square mi.

In 2012, EcoVidal Design won 2nd place in the "Sweet Homes Chicago" design competition sponsored by Design Makes Change with this proposal. The project included a concept for an  Austin Sustainable Master Plan and the Cicero-Lake  TOD block. The proposal is the result of a 6-month EVD effort with the community through the community group Austin Coming Together.

Harnessing the arts, creative design and sustainable planning around a transit hub will spear economic vitality, job creation and result in reduction in home foreclosures.

The proposed Cicero |Lake block includes:
(1) Vertical Farming |Wellness Center | Gateway Plaza; (2) Lake Street Performing Arts Plaza; (3) Carroll Street Art’s District Corridor; (4) Kilpatrick Street outdoor gallery and urban design gateway for Brach’s Factory site.

5. Evanston Lakefront Master Plan

Location: Evanston, Illinois
Client: City of Evanston
Team: EVD |Urban Works | EDAW
Planning Completion: In progress
Site area: 74 acres

Carmen Vidal-Hallett participated with Urban Works Architecture on the EDAW team for the completion of this plan during the design charrette, community meetings, and final document preparation. 

Carmen’s 12-year experience as a Lakefront and Planned Development Coordinator for the City of Chicago DPD was very valuable for this project. Important elements of the plan included  circulation improvements on the bicycle and pedestrian paths, restoration of native vegetation and bird habitats, better parking distribution among many other  programming and facilities improvements. The entire document can be viewed on the City of Evanston website.

6. Paranapiacaba Workshop

Location: Paranapiacaba, Santo Andre, SP, Brazil
Client: Prefeitura de Santo Andre
Planning Manager: Carmen Vidal-Hallett, EVD President
Completion Date: 2010
Site area: 83.22 square Km (district) 4.81 square Km (village)  
Sponsors: Illinois-Sao Paulo Partners of the Americas  (POA) POA Washington

Paranapiacaba (‘the place from where you can see the ocean’ in Tupi Guarani), a charming historic villa, is now a town paralyzed in time. The English built it in the 1860’s as a railroad stop to connect São Paulo’s inland coffee plantations to the international port of Santos. Paranapiacaba Workshop was an intense 4-day charette from March 26 to March 29th, 2010, with the local community, professionals from Sao Paulo and Illinois, academics and Municipal officials to develop a “Vision “ for the villa's restoration and recovery.

7. Rio de Janeiro Green District

Location: Rio de Janeiro
Client: Rio de Janeiro Secretaria de Economia Verde (SEV)
Planning and Design: Eco Vidal Design, Inc.
Completion Date: 2012
Site area: 91 acres

In 2012 Eco Vidal Design, Inc. President, Carmen Vidal-Hallett, traveled to Rio de Janeiro with a  US Department of State | Partners of the Americas Fellowship and worked with Rio de Janeiro INEA Secretaria de Economia Verde (SEV) on the first Rio Green District. Carmen introduced the LEED ND (neighborhood development) certification process to SEV and analyzed it's potential  during the 2-month fellowship.

The LEED ND certification Analysis included the verification of all prerequisites in the following areas:
Smart Location and Linkage; Neighborhood Pattern and Design; Green Infrastructure and Buildings

8. Edgewater Environmental Sustainability Project

Location: Edgewater Chicago, Il. 60660
Client: Edgewater Community Council
Co-Chair of Planning and Development: Carmen Vidal-Hallett | Eco Vidal Design, Inc.
Completion Date: 2010
Site area: 1.703 square m

Edgewater’s Environmental Sustainability Project is the winner of the 2010 Mayor Daley Green Works Award in the Community Leadership Category.

The plan  is an innovative and new comprehensive course of action for addressing critical environmental issues in the following areas: planning and development; transportation; energy efficiency; renewable energy; water and air resources; green schools; public education; parks; green spaces; recycling and cleaning.

While fostering job growth, Edgewater will be fulfilling the goals of the Chicago Climate Action Plan, as well as bringing economic and aesthetic benefits to the entire community. Increased energy efficiency, improved transit, reduced automobile use, greater walk-ability, more parks and green space, cleaner air, and greater access to the lakefront will result in this culturally diverse community protecting the well-being of the individual, creating jobs with economic growth, and ensuring the quality of the environment for generations to come.

Thom Greene
Edgewater Chicago Il.
+1(773) 271-1925
Project:  Edgewater Environmental
Sustainability Project