Water as Our Past and Future

3503 S Racine Ave Chicagoundefined

Reclaiming Public Space/Water as Our Past and Future
Chicago Architecture Center
Written By Chicago Architecture Center

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VISIONARY IDEA / WARD 11 

Chicago has a long history of treating its fresh water resources as a dumping ground, and today’s residents of Chicago and beyond have inherited decades of mistreatment. Nowhere in the city is this polluted legacy more visible than in the 11th Ward—a neighborhood long challenged by industrial use and misuse of the South Branch of the Chicago River. 

In addition to visible pollutants on the surface of Chicago’s waterways, invisible contaminants in both the water and below ground will have lasting impacts on the health of our aquifers, rivers and lakes.

No single ward or neighborhood can tackle this problem alone. Through a cooperative effort between government, universities, technology leaders, designers and residents, we can repair past abuses and transform our waterways into healthy, green, efficient closed-loop systems. By harnessing nature and new water technologies, we can conserve our limited resources, create jobs, connect cities to thriving native ecologies and become a global leader in the next generation of water infrastructure.

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Reclaiming Public Space

Water as Our Past and Future

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