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Everyone in Chicago should have equal access to our rivers
  • By Chloe Gurin-Sands, Masters student, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Jun 15, 2015
I recently had the chance to meet with Josh Ellis and Kara Riggio of the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) to learn more about their Great Rivers Chicago Project. The mission of the project is to reimagine and revitalize how we as Chicagoans interact with our rivers. The City of Chicago has more…
Forty times around the world in 1 million miles of pipe
Our nation’s infrastructure is crumbling and in need of reinvestment—this is the general message I hear over and over these days. Yet figures such as $1 trillion to repair and upgrade our nation’s drinking water infrastructure are difficult to conceptualize—let alone fathom…
How soon is now? The future of water reuse becomes reality at an Oak Park home
MPC Research Assistant Matt Nichols authored this post. Many people report that their best ideas come to them in the shower. In the case of Oak Park, Ill., homeowners Ana Garcia-Doyle and Jim Doyle, their great idea was the shower itself. Or more specifically, the thousands of gallons of water…
All Systems Go: Engineering Sustainable Utility Solutions
The complete audio recording of this event is available for listening. Last week MPC hosted the third event in its infrastructure roundtable series, All Systems Go: Engineering Sustainable Utility Solutions, generously sponsored by ComEd and Peoples Gas. The event featured a top-notch panel: J.…
Growing blue: Water, economic development, and corporate stewardship
I do my best to conserve water at home. I try to be smart about actual water use—only running full loads of laundry, keeping a pitcher of water in the fridge so I don't have to wait for cold water, etc.—but I rent, so I'm not in a position to retrofit my apartment with too much in the…
Making the most of a clean(ish) river
Having gotten a bad weather forecast from the guy at my local bike shop, I spent a fair amount of time this past Sunday—however long it takes to ride a bike 40 miles during high winds, driving rain, and a foot of standing water in the street in a few places in Evanston—thinking about…
Illinois American Water environmental grants available
MPC Research Assistant Dan McDonell wrote this post. Illinois American Water (IAW), a private water supplier serving parts of the greater Chicago area, has announced that it is accepting applications for its 2011 Environmental Grant Program to improve and protect local watersheds. Created in…
What Our Water's Worth: Lollapalooza offers lessons in water conservation
In September, MPC and Openlands will launch What Our Water's Worth, a multi-year campaign exploring the many ways in which we use, manage and value water. The initial goal is to raise awareness about the need to invest in, protect and conserve our invaluable water resources, ultimately leading to…
Creating synergy between energy and development decisions
To pump, treat and deliver the 550 billion gallons of water metropolitan Chicago consumes annually, it takes as much energy as it does to drive nearly 4.9 million cars for an entire year. At an MPC-Openlands roundtable luncheon this past Tuesday, that statistic was one of many that drove home the…
What's missing in discussions about leasing Chicago's water
Recently, the media has zeroed in on a rumor that Chicago could lease its water system. Though the city has not confirmed such a deal, media coverage has helped spark an important discussion about the pros and cons of privatization. For the past several years, MPC has been researching the…

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