Rethinking Chicago's Water Treatment System

<p>As Chicago nears completion of the Deep Tunnel project, two local architects have proposed a new eco-friendly water plan for the city.</p>
May 16, 2007, 11am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"Sarah Dunn and Martin Felsen of the Bridgeport architectural firm UrbanLab...envision a self-contained system that would take water from Lake Michigan, use it, and then run it through a natural treatment system dispersed throughout the city before returning it to its source."

The plan would allow for the flow of the Chicago river to be restored to its natural state, and free up the Deep Tunnel project to be used for new subway lines.

"Dunn and Felsen propose that the city switch over to a decentralized all-natural water treatment and recycling system that would double the city's parkland. A series of 50 "eco-boulevards" spaced every half mile from Rogers Park to Roseland would run east-west from Lake Michigan to the subcontinental divide between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins at about Harlem Avenue-thin green ribbons running across the city that would replace pavement with green space, greenhouses, and wetland for the treatment of waste and storm water."

"Each eco-boulevard would jut out into Lake Michigan and end in a man-made peninsula to accommodate solar arrays, wind turbines, and geothermal wells to power the treatment processes. "Terminal Parks" would mark the eco-boulevard's western extremes. These large green spaces would be surrounded by residential and work complexes to accommodate returnees from the outer suburbs, who by 2106 will have moved back closer to town to obtain running water."

Thanks to Jessica Zgobis

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Published on Monday, May 7, 2007 in Chicago Reader
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