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March 2010 Blog posts

Did you remember Earth Hour this weekend?

We sure forgot Earth Hour at my house on Saturday. We didn't realize it until we were on the road listening to the radio. My husband and I both felt shamed as we watched the city turn out its lights. But, fret we did not; the next day, we shut everything down as we left the house for a whirlwind Sunday. Isn't that what Earth Hour is all about anyway; becoming more aware of the little things we can do every day at any time to lessen our impact on this wonderous planet? So, if you were like us, don't let the guilt stop you from doing something today to make a positive impact on our planet.

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Bus Tracker digital display boards give riders extra time to do their thing

For me, the worst part of waiting for a bus is watching the minutes tick away while I wonder when the next bus will come, which is why I love that the CTA is making bus tracking information more available. In addition to being able to access Bus Tracker on smart phones, or via text messages on regular cell phones, the CTA has started working with organizations across the city to provide arrival times on digital display boards. In February, DePaul University added Bus Tracker to campus information boards at the Lincoln Park and downtown campuses. A few months earlier, WPB (the Special Service Area for Wicker Park and Bucktown) installed Bus Tracker screens in neighborhood businesses and organizations, including Myopic Books, W Grocer, and the First Ward Service Office. These display…

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See how Seoul, Korea, went below the pavement to transform itself

Dave Palmer, flickr.com/photos/davekimtravel

The Cheonggyecheon River in Seoul, was once entombed in concrete, but has been transformed into a beautiful and well-used public space.

By the mid-1950s, the Cheonggyecheon River in Seoul, Korea, was a dirty, polluted eyesore flowing right through the middle of the city. In an attempt to “clean up” the river and modernize the area, city officials paved over the river, and built a highway. Fast forward only 10 years after the project was completed, and the dirty river was simply replaced by a dirty highway that turned the area into the busiest and noisiest sector in Seoul. By 2001, almost 80 percent of Seoul residents supported a new proposal to remove the Cheonggye freeway and restore the river. A newly elected mayor pledged to spend $384 million not only to demolish the elevated freeway, but dedicate the local road for the city’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) line, create walkable destinations, and…

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New web site creates vertical Placemaking

This post was written by Aleece Smith, MPC research assistant. Have you ever thought of your office building as a spot for social networking? Just think of the hundreds or thousands of people who spend their 9 to 5 at the same address as you. If only someone would create a space to touch base with those work neighbors. All of a sudden, your pool of potential happy hour companions would double, and clients and vendors within easy reach could give your business a boost. Enter STACKD. The STACKD network helps people in office buildings connect for business or burgers. Inspired in 2009 by elevator postings from other business tenants in a web designer’s Manhattan office building, STACKD aims to make businesses more cognizant of their physical surroundings and the people who occupy…

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East Chicago hospital signs onto EAH to support community redevelopment

In partnership with the City of East Chicago, St. Catherine Hospital is launching an innovative benefit that will help its employees buy homes in the community. Through employer-assisted housing (EAH), the hospital is providing downpayment assistance to employees purchasing homes in East Chicago’s new North Harbor neighborhood. In addition to St. Catherine employees, Community Healthcare System employees are also eligible for the downpayment assistance. The North Harbor Revitalization Initiative is a comprehensive, multi-phase strategy to revitalize a historic community and connect it to the Lake Michigan lakefront.The Community Builders and Hispanic Housing Development Corporation are developing new rental and homeownership opportunities, and Consumer Credit Counseling Services of…

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