Chicago’s Great Rivers Plan

Passengers take in the sights as they head east down the Chicago River during an architectural boat tour of Chicago Saturday, May 3, 2008.
Passengers take in the sights as they head east down the Chicago River during an architectural boat tour of Chicago Saturday, May 3, 2008. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Passengers take in the sights as they head east down the Chicago River during an architectural boat tour of Chicago Saturday, May 3, 2008.
Passengers take in the sights as they head east down the Chicago River during an architectural boat tour of Chicago Saturday, May 3, 2008. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Chicago’s Great Rivers Plan

Chicago’s history as an industrial center left its mark on its rivers and waterways. As America, and the world, transitioned from the Industrial Age to the Information Age, cities with substantial rivers, like Chicago, grappled with how to transform commercial and industrial infrastructure into functional, livable, and sustainable community assets. Launched last year, the Great Rivers Plan is Chicago’s effort to make its rivers “more accessible, connected and sustainable.”

A new plan initiative called River Edges Ideas Lab brought together several architectural firms, experienced in designing sustainable public spaces, to aesthetically unify Chicago’s riverfront. We’ll talk about the innovative plan for Chicago’s waterways with Josh Ellis of Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council, Eleanor Gorski, deputy commissioner for the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development and Ernie Wong, a site architect for River Edges Ideas Lab and principal at the firm, site design group, ltd.