Chicago Planning and Urban Life Term Paper

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Chicago: Planning and Urban Life

Urban Sustainability

Urban sustainability revolves around many factors. This means for the area to endure, several factors have to be considered. These factors may involve engaging the local communities in order to re-urbanize a given region. Areas to consider during this upgrade include the building structures, the infrastructure connections, urban design, which includes transportation, means. Transportation means avoiding cars in the central business district to avoid delays. The social and economic designs are also areas to be looked into during this sustainability of cities. A walking distance connection saves time hence adds in production. The environment is also an area to be looked at because it should be supportive for physical activities. This brings about the conclusion that urban sustainability consists of three important factors. These are the economic, environment and social factors (Botkin, 45).

Characteristics of a sustainable City

In a sustainable city, different characteristics usually exist which are notably conspicuous. Controlled Population; A sustainable city should be able to control the current population. This enhances chances of adequate and significant employment opportunities for the residents. The employment opportunities enable residents to improve the state of their living condition. The degree of dependence reduces, as individuals are able to carter for their needs hence attain the level of sustainability. These are residential density, which includes the population of a place. When the area is highly populated, a lot will have to be considered in order to accommodate the people. The way the land use has been diversified is important. This is because free space should not be underutilized. Parks can be developed on this land for social entertainments and family day out. The urban area should be rational in order to enable communication or rather transport with it. Different types of building should be considered. High buildings should be built so that they can accommodate the increasing population. The old ones should be done away with so that the buildings can be built to the modern art. A community that is engaged can also help in re-constructing an area.

Efficient Governance; the presence of efficient governance in the city is vital for the sustainability of the area in the context. The government of the city focuses on the needs of the residents as well as managing the civic programs in the region. This promotes the degree of democracy within the city hence sustainability of the area. Within adequate and efficient government, transparency level in the city increases. Transparency plays a vital role in ensuring the existence of equity within the city. Sustainable city experiences harmony because of improved equity, which results from the development of efficient governance (Loo, Becky & Alice p.177-193).

Efficient and adequate social amenities; Sustainable city ensures the presence of social amenities such as water and power supplies. Inadequacies of these amenities result into illegal consumption of the product hence the loss of revenue to the municipal or city councils. Adequate water and power supply ensures that the interest of all residents experiences satisfaction. The living condition faces improvement in the region, as individuals do not participate in illegal consumptions of the product. If water and power supply meets the demand of the population, sustainability is within reach for the city hence improvement to the better state of the region. Planned Housing; sustainable city should possess well-developed schools, healthcare centers, parking regions, and drainage systems. These facilities should be able to satisfy the needs of the city of context. If the residents can derive maximum satisfaction from the available facilities and housing structures, it is developing towards sustainability (Loo, Becky & Alice p.177-193).

Adequate and efficient transport system; transport system is critical for the movement of residents and goods from one point to another. Trading system enhances because of developed transport system. This increases the total revenue collected by the council of the city. Sustainability of the city depends on the available transport systems. Sustainable city should also ensure minimization of vehicles within the region. This reduces the probability of road destruction and air pollution. Sustainable city should possess efficient transport system, which addresses the needs of the residents. Effective environmental structures; in order to deal with environmental problems facing the city, environmental infrastructures should undergo improvement. Sustainable city should possess such environmental facilities capable of dealing with problems like untreated sewage. The living condition of the city residents improves because of the adoption of the environmental appropriate measures (Loo, Becky & Alice p.177-193).

Empowerment of women; sustainable city should ensures empowerment of women within the region. Participation of women in city affairs as well as political issues increases. The increased participation contributes towards the growth and development of the city. Adoption of principles and policies that enhance participation of women in economic, social, and political affairs also characterize sustainable city. Developed private and public sector; sustainable city should work towards reduction of the poverty levels. With planned private and public sector within the region, appropriate measures are in place for the reduction of poverty in the city. Sustainable city should possess effective private sector to help minimize the poverty problems (Loo, Becky & Alice p.177-193).

In your opinion, is the city of Chicago moving in the right direction with regard to achieving urban sustainability?


Based on the economic situation of Chicago, the city is moving to the right direction. With planned population levels, job opportunities available for the residents are on the increase. These factors act towards the alleviation of poverty state of the region as well as improvement of living standards within the city. Individuals are able to apply the disposal income available to satisfy their needs and increase the levels of enhanced living. The economic situation of the city is on the rise because of enhanced trading activities. This is because of the well-developed transport infrastructures within the city. Available schools, healthcare systems, and drainage facilities act towards economic growth of the city hence Chicago is on the right track in economic terms (Young, p.1051-1068).

There have been conferences on how to improve the jobs, housing, among other resilience in Chicago. The mayors and other officials felt the need to have a long-term solution to this. They agreed that the Infrastructure Trust would finance in all projects that were enabling cutting down of costs and also offering jobs. The economy in Chicago was declining by the day and that is why action had to be taken (Hak, 27).

Many people in Chicago are jobless. There is scarcity of job and that has been a long time problem. The production has been low due to lack of funds. The officials had to find a way to fund the projects. Infrastructure in Chicago needed upgrading. This would help in transportation with the urban area and also safe time for the citizens as they commuted to their places of work. The Government had to check in how the local governments were funded because sometimes the funds are diversified. With a good national framework, the cities are able to address their problems in a more enhanced way.


Another area to be considered during urban sustainability is the environment. This is an important area because a polluted city will not attract investors. By the year 2000, Mayor Dailey had filled the city with boulevards hence making Chicago the best eco friendly state in America. These made the outskirts quite inviting and residential places came up. The market value in the area also went high hence improving Chicago's economy. Chicago's near west side had its old buildings renovated by the year 1996, and this helped the city a lot. The prices of the upgraded buildings also shot up. On the urban heat island, a lot of vegetation was put up, and this improved on the air reducing the carbon dioxide. Urban green roofs were put up to reduce the number of people dying from heat waves. All these are environmental changes that helped Chicago upgrade its sustainability. Environmental condition of Chicago is improving because of the presence of environmental measures that act towards the elimination of air pollution. The sewage system of the region undergoes treatment in order to minimize adverse effects on the surrounding and the living conditions of the residents. This brings about the topic on equity in Chicago.


Equity is the amount of cash float in the area of interest. In Chicago, equity has been an area of concern. This is because the local government has had good returns as compared to the population in the area. However, Chicago has been trying to maximize its land especially the abandoned land. This has brought in some profits to the region. They have made long stretches of bikeways and also constructed many greenhouses. That is why the Illinois gave a boost of over 1.5million dollars in order to convert an old meat packing facility into agriculture. This will help in the increase of equity in Chicago. Agriculture is one area that boosts the economy of different regions. Chicago has the…

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