The Largest Urban Park In America Coming To Chicago

A new park in Chicago aims to turn 140,000 acres of under-used and post industrial land along the Second City's southern rim into the country's largest urban park. Governor Pat Quinn hopes to add private funding to the $17m allotted by the state.

Illinois hopes that the park will be "the first viable, large-scale attempt to protect and enhance the Lake Calumet area through an integrated, cooperative approach to land and resource management," said the Sierra Club.

If completed, the park will be easily larger than Central Park, which is a mere 843 acres, and Lincoln park, currently Chicago's biggest at 1,200 acres. The largest urban park deserving of the name in the contiguous United States is Phoenix's South Mountain Park, at more than 16,000 acres. Enclosed by the Phoenix-Glendale sprawl, the dusty stretch of rocks and rolling brush is home to rattlesnakes and lizards.

Full Story: A Plan For America's Largest Urban Park



Gives Planning a Bad Name

With all due respect to those who love this idea, this is the sort of initiative that gives planning a bad name because it's an extremely expensive totally discretionary project that will cost over $37 billion to implement according to reports in our Chicago papers. In a time of austerity, even spending $17 million on initial studies is an imprudent allocation of public and private funds. There is no crying need for this vanity project. It certainly should not be a high priority item given the more serious issues government and planning continue to fail to adequately address.

We can't fund everything and this proposal hardly warrants funding in today's economically toxic environment.

Daniel Lauber, AICP
AICP President 2003-2005, 1992-1994
APA President 1985-1986

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