February 14 2013

The Plant: Chicago’s Vertical Farm and Sustainable Business Incubator

February 14th, 2013Posted by 

With the trend of de-industrialization common to many American cities, the 93,500 square-foot Peer Foods meatpacking plant was in danger of being abandoned when it was sold in 2010 to a unique social enterprise. Enter the The Plant, an ambitious effort to convert this huge facility into a vertical farm and business incubator. By recruiting […]

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February 04 2013

(The GRID Blogger) Sean Glowacz: Chicago, Illinois

February 4th, 2013Posted by 

A big Global Site Plans welcome to our newest blogger, Sean Glowacz from Chicago, Illinois. Sean Glowacz holds a Masters of Urban Planning and Public Policy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sean spent two years at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning as a Research Assistant. His work focused on various tasks related to […]

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January 31 2013

How Bout Them Apples? Chicago Rarities Orchard Project Claims Public Space for Heirloom Produce

January 31st, 2013Posted by 

Ever wonder why the supermarket only carries four types of apples? With the proliferation of commercial-scale agriculture, hundreds of unique fruit and vegetable varietals were lost, spurned in favor of heartier and easier to ship breeds. The Chicago Rarities Orchard Project, or CROP, is a new initiative that seeks to reclaim this lost biodiversity (along […]

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January 17 2013

Adaptive Re-Use Gone Right in Chicago? CityTarget and Louis Sullivan

January 17th, 2013Posted by 

In July of 2012, Target opened a brand new location in downtown Chicago, in architect Louis Sullivan’s famed Carson Pirie Scott building. Critics were left to wonder if the landmark building’s character could be preserved with such a corporate tenant, yet the remarkable cast-iron façade remains intact, and the exterior corporate branding is less obtrusive […]

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January 03 2013

Safety in Numbers? Chicago’s Bike Accident Blunders

January 3rd, 2013Posted by 

The city of Chicago’s flat topography makes it a bicyclist’s paradise, where despite the harsh winters, the lack of hills invites people to pedal. With the recent surge of citizens choosing sustainable two-wheeled transit, the city has struggled to keep the increasing numbers of cyclists safe, with a 38% increase in bicycle accidents from 2001-2011. […]

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December 06 2012

Coping with Coal: Life after the Fisk and Crawford Coal Plants

December 6th, 2012Posted by 

In September, two coal-burning power plants on the Southwest side of Chicago closed down operations, leaving the nearby communities with the pressing question of how best to re-use the combined 132 acres.  The Fisk and Crawford coal plants have been decommissioned by their owner Midwest Generation in response to increasing pressure from community groups and […]

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November 22 2012

Affordable Housing Anxieties: Chicago and The Preservation Compact

November 22nd, 2012Posted by 

A typical three-story walkup building in Chicago Urban planners the world over recognize that affordable housing is crucial for neighborhood stability, as well as workforce diversity and the economic sustainability of a given region.  But in the summer of 2012, the tight rental market in major cities like Chicago meant that landlords could get record […]

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November 08 2012

Air-Cleaning Skyscrapers? The Chicago Gateway Towers Proposal

November 8th, 2012Posted by 

An innovative air-filtration system is the central feature of the proposed CO2ngress Gateway Towers, a skyscraper project envisioned by two students at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Situated over the busy Congress Parkway interchange, which serves some 77,000 vehicles a day, the two towers would capture CO2 from the air and feed it to algae […]

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October 23 2012

(The GRID Blogger) Andrew Kinaci: Chicago, Illinois

October 23rd, 2012Posted by 

A big Global Site Plans welcome to our newest blogger, Andrew Kinaci from Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from Princeton University with an A.B. in Architecture and a Certificate in Urban Studies, Andrew Kinaci set out to the Midwest to break out of the insular world of academia, and into the direct service of non-profit work. After […]

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November 28 2011

Philadelphia Set for Transit Payment Upgrade

November 28th, 2011Posted by 

Two weeks ago, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Board voted to award a nearly $130 million dollar contract to ACS Transport Solutions Group to install a modernized fare system for Philadelphia’s public transportation infrastructure. The move is seen largely as a response to the city’s “outdated” fare collection system, reliant heavily on tokens and […]

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November 14 2011

What the High Line Means for America’s Urban Parks

November 14th, 2011Posted by 

As mentioned earlier on this blog, the success of New York’s High Line and recent extension has brought in more attention, investment, and tourists to Manhattan’s Chelsea and Meatpacking neighborhoods. And while New York enjoys the fruits of its labor, other cities across North America are looking to achieve similar results through comparable projects. Using […]

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July 26 2011

A Quicker Commute on Trains and Buses: Social Media Aides Public Transportation

July 26th, 2011Posted by 

As technology becomes increasingly mobile, city residents are constantly in demand for information on the go.  But aside from their desire to Facebook and tweet anywhere, anytime, users are looking for ways to improve their commute, quicken their pace, and reach their destination faster.  Public agencies and private developers have responded to the call, creating […]

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June 14 2011

Urban Planning Departments To Follow on Twitter

June 14th, 2011Posted by 

With more and more city residents becoming engaged in social media, municipal planning departments are taking notice. Across the country, many cities are responding to the trend by embedding themselves within social media networks and reaching out to constituents like never before. The cities are putting themselves out there on Twitter and allowing anyone to […]

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