2012's Big Urban Projects

Will Doig takes us through some of the biggest projects to look out for across the nation this year, proving that cities are neither as cash-strapped nor as unimaginative as we perhaps thought.

"There aren't a lot of urban parks that you'd get on a plane to visit, but if Chicago's plan for its Calumet region succeeds, we'll be on the first flight to O'Hare. Calling it ambitious would be like calling the Sears Tower tall. At 140,000 acres, the Millennium Reserve Initiative would be the biggest open-space project in the country, transforming a huge swath of underused, postindustrial land into a playground of wildlife corridors, parks, gardens, organic farms and more than 50 miles of hiking trails.

The city is hoping it'll be a boon to tourism and build on Chicago's already well-deserved reputation as a leader in big green urban ideas. The first phase, the Calumet Core, begins in earnest in 2012 with the restoration of 15,000 acres of open space."

Full Story: The bold urban future starts now

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