Evanston actually predates chicago by a bit. It's not a suburb. Chicago grew until it pressed against Evanston's southern border.
evanston has some advantages over Chicago. It's got a good solid core of Northwestern University. So it has a lot of young college kids roaming around the city. It's a much smaller city than chicago and the density is easier to maintain. The old joke is that there are more dead people than living (there's a big cemetery near the southern border with chicago).
It also has a lot of infrastructure from being close to chicago. The Purple line is an extension of the CTA, and runs locally on weekends. There are CTA busses that come through, not just suburban busses. There are a couple Metra lines the go through because of proximity to chicago
There are rough neighborhoods to the west (evanston borders the lake on the east so the rich folks are east, the poor folks west.) I haven't read the articles yet, but I'd love to see how the Western part fits in the grand plan