Monday, May 23, 2011
The New York Times reports that Chicago has undertaken major structural projects to prepare for anticipated climate change that will make the cityâ€™s climate resemble New Orleans or Baton Rougeâ€™s within the next 50 -100, all due to climate change…
The New York Times reports that Chicago has undertaken major structural projects to prepare for anticipated climate change that will make the cityâ€™s climate resemble New Orleans or Baton Rougeâ€™s within the next 50 -100, all due to climate change.
The city has plans to install air conditioning in all of its 750 public schools, where there are currently none. There are plans to replace asphalt with vegetation and to replace hot tar roofs with grass. The city has also made major changes to its list of approved city-planted trees, even going so far as to replace the white oak, the state tree of Illinois. The white oak is being replaced with swamp white oak and bald cypress, which will give the city a Deep South feeling â€“ although a bit less shade.
The projects were prioritized by which ones would give the best environmental impact for the least amount of money. For example, proposals to shutter local coal-fired power plants and replace with gas-fired ones were shelved because they would were too expensive.
The most exciting thing about the projects is that they are not just planning board proposals or feasibility proposals â€“ these are projects that have been completed and are underway right now. The city has already installed water-permeable sidewalk systems that can absorb torrential downpours and they have begun projects to install trees into paved areas to improve drainage and water absorption and reduce water run-off in the city. Weâ€™d like to see more cities be as proactive and as willing to take on long-range planning and environmental change as Chicago has been.
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