When considering urban sustainability projects around the world, I decided to focus on one that is close to home for all of us. The Chicago Green Roof project started in 2001 at City Hall Chicago. The Green Roof project is an Environmental Protection Agency project that was initiated in an effort to improve urban air quality. The green roof is over 38,000 square feet and costs about 2.5 million to create. The green roof saves about $5000 a year on utilities bills and is being monitored for plant survival. Another goal of the green roof project was to combat urban heat island effects. Urban heat islands occur in urban areas with hard surfaces and are known to be way hotter than areas that have green roofs.
This innovation project helps Chicago in becoming the greenest city as Major Daley vowed we would become. Other buildings have also taken the initiative and created green roofs on a smaller scale. In addition to improving the air quality and combatting urban heat islands, some green roofs also provide gardens for the building residents. I believe the green roof project was a good initiative to make Chicago a greener city, although we still have a way to go.