University of Illinois at Chicago
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The Alien on the Shore

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-07-30, 00:00 authored by Patrick Thomas
This photo was taken during a semester long study on the effects of climate change on the Lake Michigan shoreline and an assessment of how we prepare for those changes. Our assignment was to draft a plan for the year 2060 for the North shore communities of Evanston, Wilmette, Kenilworth and Winnetka. From the start, we realized we were not only dealing with increasing populations, declining shorelines and accessibility issues, but also geological concerns that come as a result of many unpredictable forces of nature. I took this picture while straddling the Evanston shore on a day when temperatures did not leave the single digits. Public access to our water is a serious matter, but on a day like this we discovered that only a few brave souls were willing to visit the lakefront and its bone-chilling wind. The effects of blizzards and single-digit temperatures on our lakefront are not difficult to imagine from season to season, but over 50 years these conditions will significantly impact the landscape of our precious beachfront. It is important we recognize that and plan today for tomorrow.


This exhibit competition is organized by the University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate College and the University Library.


Publisher Statement

Urban Planning and Policy; Finalist; Copyright 2012, Patrick Thomas. Used with permission. For more information, contact the Graduate College at


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