Chicago's "Complete Street" takes on heat, stormwater, blight and unfriendly traffic
With 23 percent of Chicago's land area dedicated to the public right-of-way (streets and sidewalks), those hard surfaces play a huge role in the livability of the metropolis. So city planners took a neglected industrial corridor, situated between a vibrant immigrant community and its high school, and made it as green as possible -- for less than the cost of comparable but traditional street reconstruction (i.e., the sustainable bells and whistles cost less).
This article explores how bioswales, pervious pavement, photocatalytic cement, bike lanes, sustainable plants and educational kiosks turned a gritty wasteland into what some now call the "greenest street in America."
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