University Shares Green Development Case Study

The University of Illinois at Chicago's City Design Center has produced a 96-page electronic publication illustrating ideas for green development in East Garfield Park as a case study for use by Chicago neighborhoods and individuals.

"Green Schemes: Sustainable Urbanism in Garfield Park" presents 80 concepts such as filtration gardens, narrowed roadways, and an elevated bikeway adjacent to the Green Line tracks. Graduate students and faculty in urban planning, architecture, and landscape architecture conceived the schemes in five studios taught at City Design Center.

Their designs for urban agriculture, public ways, building technology, manufacturing, transportation and other planning elements address four scales of development: building, street, neighborhood, and the two-square-mile community.

The designers chose East Garfield Park as a mixed-income neighborhood with many underused properties. They describe the area's current and potential assets, including winding boulevards, Victorian housing, a business district primed for revitalization, industrial buildings, a rapid transit line, the City of Chicago's Center for Green Technology, and Garfield Park -- one of the city's largest parks, featuring a restored botanical conservatory.

"Green Schemes" shows that planners, architects and landscape architects can make green design feasible by collaborating, said Susanne Schnell, research assistant professor in the City Design Center.

"We generated ideas that we call 'park-centric' by working with landscape architecture faculty from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign," Schnell said. "Some ideas might be demonstrated in pilot projects with city departments, and all are intended to inspire greater dialogue about green design in Chicago neighborhoods."

The studios, taught throughout the 2006-07 academic year, received funding from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure Inc.

"Green Schemes" is available as a free download from the Web site of the Chicago Department of Environment: http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/webportal/portalEntityHomeAction.do?entityName=Environment&entityNameEnumValue=05.

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