Newcity: “Eleven Leaders on How the Twenties will Roar in Chicago”

Design Principal and Founder Carol Ross Barney joins leaders in sharing a “perfect vision” for Chicago’s continued evolution.

“Nearly three million people lived in Chicago in 1920. In less than seventy years it had grown from a village of under 30,000 to the world’s fifth largest city. This explosive growth resulted from abundant resources, expansive opportunities and unbridled ingenuity unleashed to create a livable city. Today, one-hundred years later, Chicago still has those qualities—and the potential to be one of the world’s most progressive and desirable cities.

But we have work to do.

Future Chicago needs to be denser, tighter and efficient.

Cities attract smart people who want to work with other smart people. World-changing ideas happen when we work and live together. Planning traditionally at a constant and uniformly low density worked in the last century, but in a city transitioning from making things to thinking things, a different approach to capture collective energy is needed.

The new dense city needs new ingenious systems. We have to see our existing resources in new ways. Can rooftops produce food? Can we leverage our fresh water for green manufacturing? Can we use the river for transportation? Can we use data to relieve congestion and shortages? How can we harvest… and re-harvest… clean energy?

Today’s Chicago, organized by a two-dimensional grid sliced by arterials, will be rebuilt as an exquisite multi-dimensional environment. The new systems will be biometric… more like your hand than a grid..”

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