Green and Progressive: Chicago's Green Initiatives

| 5/4/2010 11:17:16 AM

With some of the brightest young engineers coming straight out of the University of Illinois, it’s no wonder why the city is at the forefront of major green initiatives. This includes the development of land conservation, efforts driven by the Chicago Department of Environment and many more environmentally friendly projects. However, there have been significant advances in green space and architecture during the 21st century.

Companies like the West Pullman Plant, which is the largest urban solar plant in the U.S., are answering Chicago’s demand for greener jobs. In a report filed by the Chicago Sun Times, lead supervisor Jim Amedeo says, “Solar plants are only going to get smaller and more efficient, and solar energy will get cheaper to use.” He then goes on to state the implementation of multiple plants within the city, adhering to the idea of expansion and job openings. 

Residential areas are progressively doing their part to ensure a smarter, energy-efficient planet by exploring solar alternatives. With the housing tax credit extension, homeowners are definitely more inclined to enhance their efficiency and find new ways to go green. Reports substantiated by NBC of Chicago find that American homes generated twice as much power from rooftop solar panels. This is especially true in Chicago; hopefully with the expansion of plants like West Pullman, we’ll see an increase in solar-powered homes and renewable energy.

Leading the way in green civil design in large is Niranjan Shah, CEO of Globetrotters Engineering Corporation of Chicago. Globetrotters has been granted monies in excess of $13.7 million, all for city consulting and engineering contracts since March 1994. In building, the firm abides by USGBC guidelines, further promoting sustainability.

With Earth Day afoot, it’s important that the rest of our nation keep a close eye on Chicago’s green initiatives. Miniscule individual lifestyle changes, such as brushing your teeth with the water off, are a step in the right direction. With the implementation of land conservation and green space, Chicago, along with the rest of the nation will effectively see costs go down in the long-term. This will in turn lead to a relatively fast economic incline.

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