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The Greenest City in America

No, not Minneapolis unfortunately.

This is a great article on Mayor Daley’s quest to turn Chicago into the “greenest” city in America. It’s the kind of visonary, “look-what-we-can-do-when-we-work-together” stuff that I just eat up.

Back in 1989 newly elected Mayor Richard M. Daley was plagued with how to lift Chicago out of the post-industrial slag heap. He had a simple yet brilliant idea: plant more trees. This turned into a wholesale reformation of the city’s crumbling 100+ year old infrastructure. Since 1989, the city has spent $5.2 billion improving Chicago’s walkways, streets, parks and neighborhood communities. Most impressive amongst a list of admirable achievements was facing the great white elephant that was the Chicago River. Buildings once faced away from the river to avoid the stench, and the extent of damage was reminiscent of the Lake Erie chemical fires of the 1970s. Today large sections along both branches have reemerged as residential districts full of townhomes, high-rises and converted loft communities with a meticulously landscaped riverwalk stretching for miles.

This article talks about many of the things I wish I could do if I were working in the “Minneapolis Department of the Environment”. I wonder how we could get that started…

Categories: Random Thoughts.