Submitted by City of Evanston
Evanston skies will be safer for the approximately 280 species of resident and migratory birds that visit the city each year following the City Council’s adoption of a new Bird-Friendly Building Design ordinance.
Approved unanimously on September 12, the ordinance establishes bird safe standards for new development projects and alterations of existing buildings to help reduce bird collisions and death. The City’s Building & Inspection Services Division, Office of Sustainability and Bird-Friendly Evanston worked together to develop the ordinance as well as a Bird-Friendly Building Design Guide, which now serves as the standard for bird-friendly design in Evanston.
“Migratory birds are a critical part of a healthy environment both locally and globally,” said Mayor Daniel Biss. “I’m grateful to Bird-Friendly Evanston and our City staff for developing these important design standards, which will reduce aerial hazards and support a safe journey for the millions of native and migratory birds that fly through Evanston and the greater Chicago area each and every year.”
Evanston and the Chicago area serve as a vital corridor for migratory birds every spring and fall season, with light pollution and building components posing a significant hazard. The American Bird Conservancy estimates that collisions may kill up to one billion birds a year in the United States.
“This is a momentous event for birds in the Chicago area, and will make the flyway safer for birds crossing our skies. Thank you to the developers who have worked with us for years paving the way for this, and to Evanston City staff, the mayor and city council for making this happen,” said Leslie Shad of Bird-Friendly Evanston. “We stand ready for anyone needing help making their buildings bird-friendly.”
Evanston’s Bird-Friendly Building Design Ordinance applies to all planned developments, new commercial, multifamily and industrial construction projects and renovation projects of existing buildings that include the replacement of 100 percent of the exterior glazing.
For more information about bird-friendly building design, please call/text 847-448-4311 or simply dial 311 in Evanston.