Adding Green to Urban Design: A City for Us and Future Generations

Adopted by the Chicago Plan Commission in November 2008, this urban planning document presents a detailed implementation strategy for economically sound and environmentally sustainable urban design.  Elements for consideration encompass all areas of the city exposed to the environment from the building exterior to the street - including roofs, facades, yards, landscapes, open spaces, parkways, driveways, sidewalks, alleys, and roadways.

The Plan is intended to provide direction to the Chicago City Council in regulating urban design and to the Chicago Plan Commission in reviewing individual development projects. It will also guide the Chicago City Council and city departments in making decisions about public investment and improving Chicago’s built environment. Eight City departments and over 50 professionals from outside city government worked together to develop the strategies presented in this plan.

Chapter 1 discusses the environmental benefits of urban density and explains the government’s role in encouraging sustainable urban development.  Chapter 2 presents the overall goal of Green Urban Design and related objectives. Objectives are organized into five sections: water, air, land, quality of life, and general green solutions. These sections include brief discussions of the impacts of climate change to discrete areas such as stormwater management, drinking water supply, urban heat, air quality, and tree and plant species.

Chapter 3 presents 21 Key Actions - these include proposed ordinances, policies, and processes recommended for the City of Chicago and its sister agencies to support green urban design.

Appendix 1 is the "Implementation Road Map," presenting specific steps to support implementation of the 21 Key Actions in the plan, with a lead responsible agency and target date for implementation. The Road Map is dynamic - the city is using it as a public progress report every year. As a result, its content is to continue evolving to reflect completed steps, in addition to new or modified steps to support the realization of the 21 Key Actions.



Publication Date: November 20, 2008

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