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Sustainia’s Community Award Winner: Chicago’s New Lakeside

Sustainia has recently announced Chicago Lakeside as its winner for the community development category as a project exemplifying “the best sustainable solution”.

Lately the city of Chicago has been buzzing from the success of green roof initiatives and urban farming, but now the attention is cast upon a new endeavor, the Chicago Lakeside. Sustainia has recently announced Chicago Lakeside as its winner for the community development category as a project exemplifying “the best sustainable solution”.

The Lakeside development is a joint venture between McCaffery Interests and U.S. Steel Corporation, transforming what was once America’s largest steel mill into the inspirational model for ideal urban living.  The master planning of the 200 hectares site began in 2004 by Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) and at its core envisions a Smart + Connected utility system that will power, heat, and cool the community.

Lakeside is located 20k from downtown Chicago, on the shore of Lake Michigan with an impressive 50 hectares of new parklands. The plan also includes over 13,000 new homes, a new high school, 93000m2 of retail space, and a 1500 slip marina.  The ambitions do not finish with numbers, as the project aims to be a certified LEED neighborhood and will incorporate a sophisticated stormwater management system to recharge the lake.

With most projects of this magnitude, Chicago Lakeside will be completed in phases, with a 25 to 45 year time frame.  Construction is closely linked to the extensions of Lake Shore Drive which will be completed at the end of 2012.  A $98 million budget has been approved to develop the first 30 hectare of park space, and 74,000m2 of retail, restaurants, office, and residential space.  There are four metro stops in proximity to the new neighborhood, which should encourage easy access to the retail and entertainment district, coined “the Market Common”. Lakeside is in close proximity to the University of Chicago and Hyde Park, which used to be the cultural center of Chicago, and this development hopes to revitalize the area into the 3rd tourist destination for the city.

Lakeside will certainly have its share of obstacles when dealing with strategic long term planning in a rapidly changing world. However, its ambitions and leadership will continue to inspire other cities to transform, connect, and envision a promising future for derelict urban brown-fields.  

About the Sustainia Award

The Sustainia Award is a new global award honoring innovative, sustainable solutions and ideas. The Sustainia Award Committee is chaired by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Honorary Chair of the Committee), European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, and Chair of the IPCC Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri. The Sustainia Committee Members each year select the winner of the Sustainia Award among the Sustainia100 solutions – a list of one hundred sustainable solutions.

About Sustainia

Sustainia is a global alliance of international partners that work to raise awareness of the desirable societies we could live in if ready and available solutions were implemented at large scale. Sustainia is founded by Scandinavian think tank Monday Morning and developed in close collaboration with UN Global Compact, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s initiative Regions20 and a variety of world-leading companies. The IFHP is a strategic partner of Sustainia. Read more here