As a commuter student, I rely on public transportation or my feet to get around the city. Taking public transportation helps reduce CO2 emissions. At home and school, I recycle whatever I can and use a reusable water bottle. It’s important for everyone to reduce their carbon footprint, even if, it’s by doing something small. Thus, encouraging people to recycle that bottle instead of throwing it in the trash.
Being from the suburbs, you start to notice the impacts of urbanization. Everywhere you go in Chicago; there’s construction, residential buildings, or commercial buildings. You can feel the pollution in your lungs from the city traffic to the construction.
However, though Chicago is urbanized. We are fortunate enough to live near a large body of fresh water, Lake Michigan. With the news stories coming out of Flint, Michigan shows the importance of water.
Therefore, a critical challenge in urban sustainability will be water and wastewater, especially with the impacts of climate change. “Cities are constantly trying to cope with the water: maintaining supplies of fresh drinking water, managing excess water from the flooding, controlling waste water and sewerage flow”( Solecki et al. 111). Thus, climate change will impact the quality and quantity of our water.
Essentially, it is important for Chicago to protect the natural resource of Lake Michigan. The city of Chicago has implanted strategies and goals. A couple of their goals are to decrease water use by 2% (14 million gallons per day), enhance stormwater management to reduce sewer water and basement flooding, and transform the Chicago River into our other waterfront (Sustainable Chicago 21). Hopefully, these goals will be achieved within the next several years. Water is the most fundamental tool for survival, and we need to protect this great natural resource.
Lee Loftis, Randy. “Could What Happened in Flint Happen Anywhere?” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 26 Jan. 2016. Web. 29 Jan. 2016. <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/01/160125-flint-michigan-water-crisis-lead-poisoning/
Solecki, William, et al. The Urbanization of Climate Change: Responding to a New Global Challenge. 2013.
“Sustainable Chicago.” (2015): n. pag. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/progs/env/SustainableChicago2015.pdf>.