Making Sure Design Doesn't Get Left Behind in Chicago's Infrastructure Push

Blair Kamin argues for the need for new Mayor Rahm Emanuel to carry on the enlightened relationship with design established by his predecessor, former Mayor Richard M. Daley, especially in light of recently announced initiatives.

Kamin frames Emanuel's recent announcement of the city's ambitious push to upgrade its aging infrastructure within the Mayor's, thus disappointing, relationship with, and recognition for, good design. Kamin cites the high bar set by Emanuel's predecessor in office as a laudable goal for the new mayor: "Daley raised the standards for mayoral involvement in urban design, simultaneously upgrading Chicago's quality of life and its outdated Rust Belt image. Backsliding shouldn't be an option."

Lamenting recently released plans for "BRT Lite," which Kamin calls a missed opportunity, he takes the uninspiring and tentative concept as an lesson in what the city should not be aiming to fund with its proposed Infrastructure Trust. "If Emanuel wants to make his infrastructure trust truly transformative, good design should be an essential part of the package, not an afterthought."

Full Story: Design must be on the agenda as Chicago embarks upon infrastructure improvement plan


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