How do you create a carbon neutral city? To find out, the City of Chicago is taking a hard look at its central area with acclaimed architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill (AS+GG).
AS+GG was commissioned to complete an “Energy Master Plan” for the downtown Loop area. The plan is being called the Chicago Central Area DeCarbonization Plan, and -- despite being in its initial stages -- is already quite compelling. Working with the Chicago Climate Action Plan, AS+GG recently completed the investigation phase of the plan, proposing to retrofit half of the city's commercial and residential buildings by 2020; a move that will reduce energy use by 30 percent.
To help the city meet their carbon reduction goals, the team suggested eight key strategies in the following categories: buildings, urban matrix, water, mobility, smart infrastructure, waste, energy and community engagement.
For more details on this project, check out this article from Inhabitat. Scroll down for more visions of a decarbonized Chicago.
In my opinion, coming up with the carbon reducing goals is the easy part. The difficult part lies in the timely execution and prioritization of them. When you're executing a plan, you always have to deal with unexpectedness.
This idea that these Architectures came up with to decarbonize the city of Chicago brings a smile to my face. This is great idea and i expect it to bring inspiration to other cities to do so aswell. It is a complicated project but will bring as much positive energy out of it that is put into it. I think that the problems they face wont be hard to overcome. Not only is this a great move for the city of Chicago but if other cities did the same thing or even tryed new things somewhat related to this is could be a big step to re-stabalization. Im looking forward to see and hear of the progress that comes of this, it gives me an incentive to pursue architecture so i can be a part of a project like this one.
There is nothing original or innovative about this document. Change light bulbs, plant trees, ride bikes, use less water, use renewable energy--I'm pretty sure that was all suggested a long time ago and there is nothing compelling about it. This is mere marketing by an architecture office. What's really compelling is that when you look at the rest of the architect's web site, it's full of glass box buildings. How does the use of possibly the most energy inefficient cladding system known to man support their "vision" of carbon reduction?