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Blog posts by Josh Ellis

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Go check out the Riverwalk!
Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich praised the new stretch of Chicago’s Riverwalk and urged skeptics to consider the new public investment as a city-wide asset that connects people to each other and to nature. We at the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) couldn’t agree more.…
Whose green infrastructure is it anyway?
  • By Josh Ellis and MPC Research Assistant Daniel Wolf
  • Jun 1, 2015
"About 40 percent of Cook County is now impermeable, so that means there's more water that's competing to get into local sewer systems," says Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Mariyana Spyropoulos. “Rain barrels and other green infrastructure can help capture that…
Ready, set, rain! How one community is managing stormwater
  • By Josh Ellis and MPC Research Assistant Kelsey Pudlock
  • Apr 1, 2015
With spring around the corner, the Village of Midlothian is getting ready…RainReadySM! RainReady is an initiative started by the nonprofit Center for Neighborhood Technology to help residents and communities work together to plan, coordinate and find solutions to water-related problems that…
Water Matters in Wilmette, but challenges abound
  • By Josh Ellis and MPC Research Assistant Daniel Wolf
  • Mar 17, 2015
On Sunday, March 8, the community group Go Green Wilmette held its ninth annual fair to raise awareness in the community about environmentalism and sustainability with this year’s theme being “Water Matters.” Wilmette, like a lot of other communities in the Chicago area, has been…
100+ reasons to be excited about Great Rivers Chicago
“Chicago’s second lakefront.” That’s a line we often hear about the potential for Chicago’s rivers (and when I say “rivers,” I mean all of them: the Chicago and all its reaches, plus the Calumet system and a stretch of the Des Plaines) to be cleaner, more…
Weather resilience workshops: Save the date!
  • By Josh Ellis and MPC Research Assistant Kelsey Pudlock
  • Feb 10, 2015
On behalf of the Northeastern Illinois Resilience Partnership, the City of Chicago, Cook County and DuPage County are hosting a series of community workshops throughout the Chicagoland area to address the region’s resilience to extreme weather events, particularly rainstorms that result in…
Measurable success! Illinois modernizes Lake Michigan water use rules
186,000 miles per second. One mile per 4.689 seconds. 40 miles per hour. Forever. Those are, of course, the actual speed of light and sound, the max running speed of a white-tailed deer (Illinois’ state mammal) and the apparent speed of policy in change in Illinois sometimes. To the best of…
Houston, we have a solution: Low Impact Development
  • By Josh Ellis and MPC Research Assistant Daniel Wolf
  • Feb 3, 2015
Stormwater was once seen as a nuisance to be disposed of as quickly and invisibly as possible. But this past week in Houston, Texas, engineers, planners and elected officials came together to confer on Low Impact Development, the practice of mimicking nature in order to manage stormwater. From the…
Floodlothian Midlothian makes waves in 2015
  • By Josh Ellis and MPC Research Assistants Kelsey Pudlock and Daniel Wolf
  • Jan 30, 2015
“Merry Christmas & a flood-free new year!” reads the lawn sign posted outside the house of Helen Lekavich of Midlothian, Ill., a southern suburb of Chicago. The community group Floodlothian Midlothian, which Lekavich founded with neighbors, raises awareness of the Village of…
Three things I learned in 2014
2014 was an informative year—whether I truly learned things, or whether the machinations of the year simply jarred long lost lessons from yore, is sort of irrelevant. Whatever the case, I enter 2015 with a few significant lessons/reminders under my belt, and am eager for more moving…

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