Windy City goes for the green

It’s been suggested to the City Fathers here in my town of Monroe, Washington, that we should begin to incorporate ‘green’ ideas into our city planning. We’re still waiting to see if the idea catches on or if we’re still too backwards to see the wisdom of this approach yet.


CHICAGO — On the scalding eighth-floor roof of the Chicago Cultural Center, workers dripped sweat as they planted row upon tidy row of hardy plants, the latest signal of one big-city government’s determination to be green.

On other downtown rooftops, tall, corkscrew-shaped turbines will harness the winds that race across the plains. A new roof on Chicago’s vast convention center will channel 55 million gallons of rainwater a year into Lake Michigan instead of into overburdened storm drains.

Skeptics snickered 17 years ago when Mayor Richard M. Daley added flowers and trees to the city’s to-do list. They scoffed at the apparent folly of beautifying a sprawling, gritty urban landscape. A few tulips, they figured, and that would be the end of it.

But the city-kid mayor raised on the rough-and-tumble South Side stuck with it. The greening project grew strong roots, giving Chicago a reputation as one of the nation’s most committed environmental cities of any size. The company it keeps is not Newark and Detroit, but Portland and Seattle.


research credit – thx Paul F.

Comments are closed.