'Forward Chicago' Launches: Aims to Make Chicago Greenest US City
Green Roof on Chicago City Hall
Today the Climate Group announced their partnership with the city of Chicago and Chicago 2016, titled "Forward Chicago" which aims to not only help Chicago reach its greenhouse gas reduction goals but to make Chicago quite possibly the greenest city. Let us count the ways:The partnership itself will bring together public and private organizations to work together on reducing their fair city's gas problem. Motorola, Exelon, Allstate, Abbott, Baxter International, Inc., ComEd, MWH, Corn Products International, and HSBC-North America, are funding projects around the city, including the "21st Century Green Centers," which areas around where the proposed 2016 Olympic venues will be sited.
Exelon will plant trees in Washington Park. Abbott plans to run the "City of Chicago's $800 Challenge" where residents can get $800 for taking 10 easy steps to reduce their carbon emissions. Motorola plans to install solar panels on two city schools. Several of the other companies are supporting environmental programs in area schools and installing raingardens at the schools.
Other green projects include planting trees to displace 2 metric tons of greenhouse gases, installing solar panels around the city, and adding raingardens onto the rooftops of many area buildings. Chicago has long been known as the leader in rooftop gardens on their buildings, including the Chicago City Hall.
Chicago's Green Climate Action Plans
Just this last year Chicago unveiled their Climate Change Action Plan, that commits the city to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Three major environmental challenges that Forward Chicago identified for the city are the heat-island effect, open space, and greening and flooding. Many of the projects proposed around the city will work on improving these issues.
To date, Chicago has been actively working on improving its carbon footprint, including planting more than 500,000 trees, adding 200 acres of new parks, and over 4 million square feet of roof space covered in green gardens, saving over $5,000 in energy costs. The city has also installed 2 MW of solar power, purchased 225 hybrid vehicles, reduced fuel consumption in city vehicles and cut bus emissions by 28% through the use of new technologies and ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuels.