Open Space Impact Fee

The City of Chicago has had many improvements to its infrastructure over the past 20 years, which allows for people to use and enjoy the land for it’s true purpose. Many of the ordinances in Chicago are meant to keep us safe or keep us from doing things we shouldn’t be doing in the first place. Some of them are actually for us to enjoy the city. One such ordinance is the Open Space Impact Fee Ordinance. This ordinance accounts for a need for more public open space in the city and its communities.

SheridanThorndale1According to Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) despite the legal ramifications of most policies, the race is on to protect our public health, climate, and our economy (2016). The purpose of the Open Space Fee is to make new properties to pay a fee that will help with park development and open space for new residents. This was proposed because there were few places for people to go to with open space to enjoy in communities (City of Chicago, 2016). The good thing is that in 2040 there will be increase of green open space that will involve being around river corridors and expands existing preserves. That means 70% of the population will have access to some sort of green open space by 2040 (CMAP 2016). As it’s productiveness it seems it has because many more areas are getting open spaces and 49% of todays population has access to open spaces around Chicago (CMAP 2016). This ordinance has given many people a place to walk their dogs or to have a good walk for their health. Furthermore, it has given people an opportunity to spend time outside with others and socialize in their community.


3 thoughts on “Open Space Impact Fee

  1. I like how the Open Space Impact Fee Ordinance toward green space addresses the aspects towards sustainability in climate, public health, and the economy as well. Overall, Chicago is a quite dense urban environment in which the buildings yield green house gas emissions and consumes a lot of energy. I found the statistic interesting in which you referenced that over half of the city population would have access to open space which would definitely be beneficial for those who reside in Chicago. Have you thought of what could be done to speed up the process such that perhaps by 2030, the 70% of the population would have access to open space by then? I think bringing the residents’ efforts into play would speed up the available open space that the people who live in Chicago to have access to the space. Do you find that the ordinance has impacted the UIC community as well, or whether there could be more improvements to the space that UIC has available throughout the community?


  2. There is no doubt that there are huge benefits that open spaces as well as park offer to the residents as well as the communities. The ‘Open Space Fee’ is a very good ordinance because it would not only increase the development of open spaces but the maintenance of those. Communities in Chicago is experiencing a tremendous lack of open and safe places and securing financing for Public Park and open spaces is vital to keep those communities healthy. Moreover, I believe that if a fee structure is established it would encourage a tremendous increase in commercial developments which can be beneficial to some neighborhoods as well. It is a great policy that will create better public facilities.
    FUNDING CHICAGO’S OPEN SPACES by Tim Jeffries a Director of Planning and Policy and Amalia Turkewitz a Research Associate writes some good recommendations for the revision of Chicago’s ‘Open Space Fee’ in case you want to read more about it.


  3. When people have access to green space, they feel more inclined to fight for it. We ended up choosing similar topics! It’s important people have this access because it makes them care about their environments. Do you think you would have taken Urban Sustainability if you had parking lots, rather than parks to play in as a kid?


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