Urban Fold

Sustainability Moves into Chicago's Backyards

Chicago's backyards may turn into oases of sustainability with a new program aimed at creating incentives for 'greener' practices in the city's private gardens.

Like many other U.S. cities working to create sustainability at the local level, Chicago's new program, Sustainable Backyards, creates a set of financial incentives for local homeowners to make their backyards all the bit more 'greener.' Switchboard's Kaid Benfield reports on the new program: "...the genius of it is that it's educational, participatory, and effective at the same time. Basically, the city provides financial assistance in the form of rebates that reimburse citizens for up to 50 percent of the cost of installing trees, native plants, compost bins, and/or rain barrels."

The City hopes sustainable backyards will help to reduce the heat-island effect, absorb more carbon dioxide, and slow urban runoff into overburdened sewers and water bodies. As Benfield notes, "Chicago was one of the cities profiled in NRDC's study of water pollution and green infrastructure solutions, Rooftops to Rivers II. NRDC's water program attorney Larry Levine says that 'stopping runoff with green infrastructure on private property is a crucial part in the solving [a] city's stormwater problems and improving the health of our communities.'"

Full Story: Cleaning the urban environment with "sustainable backyards"

Comments

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
$24.95
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from five cities with red or blue trim.
$55.00
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95