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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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Chicago's New High Tech Lamp Posts Will Track People & Pollution

Chicago's New High Tech Lamp Posts Will Track People & Pollution | green streets | Scoop.it

Starting this summer, the city is installing a network of high tech lamp posts that will keep track of all kinds of information about the environment and people passing by through sensors. The data collected by Web-connected sensors will be used to help urban planners make the city safer and make traffic flow better. All of this while also tracking environmental factors like air quality.

More information at the article.

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Norm Miller's curator insight, July 9, 2014 12:09 PM

great use of technology

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America's "greenest street" provides a blueprint for sustainable urban development

America's "greenest street" provides a blueprint for sustainable urban development | green streets | Scoop.it

A streetscape that includes natural landscaping, bicycle lanes, wind powered lighting, storm water diversion for irrigation, drought-resistant native plants and innovative “smog-eating” concrete has earned Cermak road in Chicago the title of “greenest Street in America” according to the Chicago Department of Transport (CDOT).


Opened in October 2012, the first phase two mile stretch is part of the Blue Island/Cermak Sustainable Streetscape project which was introduced in 2009 with the aim of reducing overall energy usage by 42 percent.

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Mercor's curator insight, February 4, 2013 6:42 AM

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Suzette Jackson's curator insight, September 10, 2014 6:22 PM

how does your street rate? compare it to the 'greenest street in America?

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What Your Skyline Says About Your City

What Your Skyline Says About Your City | green streets | Scoop.it
The physical space reveals something deeper about a place.

Found in places like Vancouver, Sao Paulo, and Buenos Aires, this is the kind of skyline that gets urbanists giddy. These cities feature high-density cores with 24/7 activity, and residents rarely leave the urban core. Commenters have noted that Vancouver’s residential centralization policies may have actually worked too well, crowding out the middle-class, as the district’s desirability has pushed prices sky-high. Nevertheless, the city consistently ranks near the top of global Quality of Life surveys, as high-density living translates to good public transit and easy access to parks and other recreational opportunities.

Read the complete article to learn more about ten distinct “Skyline Types” that characterize a great number of the world’s great (and not-so-great) cities...

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A Pickup Truck Grows an Educational Mini-Farm

A Pickup Truck Grows an Educational Mini-Farm | green streets | Scoop.it
A literal food truck expands the creative arsenal of urban agriculture.

If the Lorax were to ever actually award a "Certified Truffula Tree of Approval" to a moving vehicle, it'd be a lot more likely to go to a garden-toting truck that brings farms to schools than to a Mazda SUV.

A literal "food truck," Truck Farm Chicago is a nonprofit organization that uses a 1994 Ford F-250 named Petunia to chauffeur a miniature farm. The project, which revved into gear on Earth Day, is a collaboration between sustainable development nonprofit Seven Generations Ahead and eco-friendly book-printer Green Sugar Press, a recent GOOD Maker finalist whose co-founders Shari Brown and Tim Magner were inspired by King Corn director Ian Cheney’s first truck farm in Brooklyn, NY...

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Five Approaches to Reviving Chicago’s Navy Pier

Five Approaches to Reviving Chicago’s Navy Pier | green streets | Scoop.it

Five proposals to rethink the public spaces at Navy Pier have gone on view at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. The finalist teams–AECOM/BIG, Aedas/Davis Brody Bond/Martha Schwartz Partners, James Corner Field Operations, !melk/HOK/UrbanLab, and Xavier Vendrell Studio/Grimshaw Architects–use variety of approaches to revitalize the historic pier, which has long been a favored destination for tourists. Organizers hope revitalizing the pier’s public spaces will make it a world-class destination for residents as well as visitors, much like Millennium Park and the rest of the lakefront. AECOM/BIG’s proposal calls for a series of undulating ramp/bleachers that form a new landscape over much of the pier’s midsection, culminating in a new park at the tip.

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Big Green: Pros and cons of the megapark

Big Green: Pros and cons of the megapark | green streets | Scoop.it
Megaparks like Chicago's Millennium Reserve and New York's Fresh Kills are ever more common. The BMW Guggenheim Lab|log weighs the pros and cons of going big.

Few in this day and age would contest the value of any land being set aside for the creation of public green space, and I am certainly not one of them.

But when it comes to the benefits we derive from park space in a city, it is worth considering if bigger is necessarily better.

Earlier this month the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago, and various other agencies made an announcement that caught the eye of many a public space advocate: the construction of the largest urban park in the continental United States.

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Pushing for a New Park in Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood

Pushing for a New Park in Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood | green streets | Scoop.it

The designers behind the Lakeview Area Masterplan are pushing ahead with a plan for a new park on a vacant lot on North Paulina Street adjacent to the Brown Line tracks. According to their research there are five vacant lots within a one block area, so there is ample land available for development.

Plans for the park include shade trees, picnic mounds and other seating, a food truck corral, bioswales and other elements. The masterplan is unusual for its emphasis on sustainability, not the typical concern of chambers of commerce. Still, the designers and the chamber believe that attractive open space will make the area more desirable to business and residents.

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Share the Road, Slash the Parking - The Architect's Newspaper

Share the Road, Slash the Parking - The Architect's Newspaper | green streets | Scoop.it

It's time to reconsider transportation planning beyond auto-monoculture.

While many of Mayor Daley's initiatives promoting citywide sustainability were visionary, transportation is one area where new thinking is still needed. Chicago traffic is among the worst in the country, and its air quality suffers as a result. Mayor Emanuel's planning policies are just beginning to take shape, though we are heartened with his selection of Gabe Klein as department of transportation commissioner.

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City of Broadening Sidewalks - The Architect's Newspaper

City of Broadening Sidewalks - The Architect's Newspaper | green streets | Scoop.it

Chicago drafts first-ever master plan for pedestrians to establish specific goals on safety, pushing for an end to auto-pedestrian fatalities in 10 years, and reduce walker injuries by vehicles by 50 percent every five years.

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Successful Rooftop Transformation in Chicago

Successful Rooftop Transformation in Chicago | green streets | Scoop.it
A Chicago roof garden is lush and private, thanks to hardy plants, shoji screens, and well-camouflaged mechanicals.

Roof gardens can cool dense cities, making them more livable. This one, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, sits atop a five-story building and is reached by way of a spiral staircase on the penthouse balcony. Not only does the garden connect the owner to nature and a skyline view, it also thrives in a city famous for its strong winds and extreme seasonal temperatures.

The expansive terrace, designed by Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects, is a Midwest prairie in microcosm. Two steel and mesh pergolas—a smaller one leading into the garden from the rooftop’s service entrance, and a larger one sheltering the seating area—are connected by slate pathways that wind past ipe planter boxes and a meadow of perennials and ornamental grasses. Structural concerns and exposure to the elements, of course, make rooftop transformations tricky.

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A. Perry Homes's curator insight, April 1, 2014 12:50 AM

Beautiful! Green topped-buildings. 

Jim Gramata's curator insight, October 27, 2014 11:24 AM

Lincoln Park rooftop garden and deck. This design is like a slice of prairie on their roof and was very successful. The only element missing would be the edible portion for on site produce. Nice job. 

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Chicago's Riverwalk Project: Revitalization, public space + community identity

Chicago's Riverwalk Project: Revitalization, public space + community identity | green streets | Scoop.it
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans in November to expand the city’s Riverwalk by six blocks, tying public space along Lake Michigan to the confluence of the river’s three branches at Wolf Point.

Conceptual plans establish identities for each of the six blocks from State Street west to Lake Street.

The project is intended to draw more recreation to the riverfront, presumably to include kayaking at the Cove and the Marina, and fishing at the jetty. After the state com- mitted $10 million to clean up the Chicago River, the Environmental Protection Agency followed suit, ordering a cleanup for the wastewater-ridden waterway downtown that would be comprehensive enough to make stretches actually clean enough for swimming.

The design team for the expansion is composed of Sasaki Associates, Alfred Benesch & Co., Ross Barney Architects, and Jacobs/Ryan Associates.


Visit the link to learn more about this large-scale revitalization effort and development of green public space in Chicago.

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Make Way for Public Space...

Make Way for Public Space... | green streets | Scoop.it

Chicago says four-part plan to expand the pedestrian realm will boost local economy, prompt physical activity.

 Mayor Rahm Emanuel will likely say he’s continuing to make good on commitments to public health and expanded outdoor space if a four-part plan to tackle both becomes a reality. Emanuel introduced an ordinance this month backing the Chicago Department of Transportation’s “Make Way for People” program, which is made up of four initiatives that the city and its partners claim will spark neighborhood economies and increase physical activity, citywide.

 

This is particularly important to communities on the South Side, which don’t have as much public space as the North Side, and could use an economic jolt, according to Bernita Johnson Gabriel, executive director of Quad Communities Development Corporation (QCDC). QCDC is a Bronzeville-based non-profit that is partnering with the city to pilot a portion of Make Way for People known as People Spots. People Spots essentially expand sidewalk seating onto portions of the street sometimes referred to as "parklets."

Read the entire article for other strategies planned to boost local economies...

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Planning for Art - The Architect's Newspaper

Planning for Art - The Architect's Newspaper | green streets | Scoop.it

Chicago revising cultural and economic development strategy.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has long been a vocal supporter of the arts. Now City Hall is coordinating an extensive outreach effort to check Chicago’s creative pulse, seeking comment on the city’s first new cultural plan in more than 25 years.

After his election in February 2011, Emanuel directed the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) to revamp the Chicago Cultural Plan, which was created in 1986 under Mayor Harold Washington. DCASE launched a website in January to coordinate its efforts. They are expected to produce a draft plan by early summer.

“The arts are political,” said attorney Michael Dorf, who directed the process that created Mayor Washington’s plan. “They enrich us, they enrage us, they move us to action. And anything that does that is political.”

Formerly special counsel to Sidney R. Yates, chairman of the congressional appropriations committee, Dorf wanted to democratize cultural planning with the 1986 planning process. Instead of press conferences and backrooms, he said, the city should borrow from the basics of grassroots organizing.

It’s an approach Chicago’s current cultural commissioner, Michelle Boone, has revived for the 2012 plan. With the help of social media, Boone said her department is taking stock of the city’s existing cultural assets, identifying opportunities for “cultural hubs.”

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A Green Revolution in Chicago

A Green Revolution in Chicago | green streets | Scoop.it

Several major projects are on Chicago's lakefront docket, aiming to complete the makeover that began nearly a decade ago and create an unbroken, 3-mile stretch of green jewels. Up first is a do-over for Navy Pier. Remade just a decade and a half ago for $225 million, the current version is widely seen as a pavement-heavy, retail-dominated tourist trap.

The new scheme, shaped by the pier's owners and Gensler design, envisions new green spaces, sculptures and pools to go along with a redesign of the shopping arcade and family pavilion. A design competition is underway. Several favorites – including Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid and local architect and recent MacArthur “genius” winner Jeanne Gang – have already been eliminated.

The winning design is to be announced in mid-February, after a public viewing period of the finalists' proposals, starting February 2. The project, which is scheduled for completion for the pier's 100th anniversary, is budgeted around $200 million.

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Zen and the art of urban transportation

Zen and the art of urban transportation | green streets | Scoop.it
Chicago's new bike riding, car loving, yoga practicing transportation commissioner thinks he can create a New Way of getting around in a city built for the automobile. Can he keep the peace in the process?

After Emanuel won the election, his choice of Klein made it clear the mayor-elect was serious about sustainable transportation. The new commissioner was fresh from a stint as transportation director for Washington, D.C., where in a mere 23 months, he made numerous pedestrian safety improvements, launched a new streetcar system, expanded the downtown circulator bus system, piloted protected bike lanes, and created the nation's first and largest bike share system...

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How to Save Chicago...

How to Save Chicago... | green streets | Scoop.it

Get Chicago open for business. Lower sales taxes. Ensure public safety downtown and in the neighborhoods. Invest a little in mass transit. Give up just a bit of the parking revenue. Chicago is a great tourist and shopping destination, better than Rome in every way except ruins. Allow your citizens to cash in before Chicago itself becomes a ruin.

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Feature> Breaking Ground - The Architect's Newspaper

Feature> Breaking Ground - The Architect's Newspaper | green streets | Scoop.it
Three Chicago neighborhoods show early signs of leading the real estate recovery. Christopher Bentley surveys the development landscape. - Short, direct, and lively, The Architect's Newspaper is the essential read in the field.
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