Streets Alive! began as an initiative of Walk ‘n’ Roll, one of the Evanston150 project teams. The mission of Walk ‘n’ Roll was to make Evanston safer and more enjoyable for walking and cycling. Among other projects, Walk ‘n’ Roll organized a successful “open streets” pilot project, called “Shared Streets”, on Dempster Street in 2013 with 2,500 people participating.
In 2014 Streets Alive was adopted by Citizen’s Greener Evanston (CGE), a citizen-led environmental nonprofit. The City of Evanston also became a major sponsor and partner of Streets Alive. Streets Alive was held September 7th, 2014 on Main Street, and was a fantastic success with 10,000 people participating.
Streets Alive 2015 demonstrated that the opened street could contain multiple festivals within it and still have plenty of room left over. CGE partnered with the Evanston Environmental Association to include as part of the event the 2015 Evanston Green Living Festival, an annual environmental fair. Latino Resources held the 2015 Hispanic Heritage Month kick-off event.