Blog 3 Chicago Sustainable Policies

There are countless sustainable policies and regulations in Chicago that the public are not aware of. One major policy to my surprise was the recycling of construction and demolition debris. Chicagoans see construction occurring daily. Therefore, it is phenomenal to realize that the city of Chicago has managed to recycle a staggering 50 percent of construction waste!

One of our class readings stated “The sustainable cities movement seems united in its perception that the state of the environment demands action and that cities are an appropriate forum in which to act (Sustainability and Cities, 219).” This needs to be emphasized because a majority of all environmental hazards occur within city limits, and what better areas to target than construction which both destroy materials and require new ones as well. Therefore, thanks to these regulations in Chicago, statistics have shown that in the city “On average about 500,000 tons of C&D are recycled annually, or a recycling rate of approximately 85% of total recyclable C&D debris generated.” This is critical because construction waste accounts for nearly 30 percent of all solid waste produced in the U.S. What’s amazing too is that the regulation to recycle C&D debris only began in 2004. In fact, in 2006 the percentage of recycled materials for construction and demolition was only 25 percent, and now we have over 50 percent.


This is a huge step forward in many areas, such as in architecture, which is my major. The fact that we can now recycle debris from demolition and create new infrastructure and buildings from recycled materials is essential in environmental architecture. Now, we can learn from these regulations in order to help improve other environmental issues within our city.


Student Blog Connections

Blog Link 1:


This blog brings forth a great point which in my opinion not only connects to my own blog, but it also adds more to it. This blog summarizes an effort in Seattle, Washington, which was to transform 716 previous housing units into 1600 new and sustainable housing units. This connects to my blog because it’s a specific example of how we can transform old infrastructure into newly environmentally friendly projects. In the process, we can put together the ideas of my blog which are to implement the recycling of debris from construction and demolition, and put that together with the ideas of tearing down old residences and buildings to provide newly inexpensive housing units. An idea from Seattle combined with an idea from Chicago can lead way for a huge progression in urban sustainability!


Blog Link 2:


This blog serves a similar purpose to my own. The connection here is once again the idea of underdeveloped land usage to be transformed into something more innovative and sustainable for the future. The blog excellently mentions how it will lead ways for architects to produce new ideas which are ecofriendly. That’s very similar to my own blog statements. The only difference is that this blog regarding the 606 seems to be more of an organization type of sustainable work, while my blog regards the cities efforts to fight environmental issues. Therefore, it would be beneficial to put both parties together, having the people and their organizations team up with city officials to do the most they can for their cities.


My Sources:




One thought on “Blog 3 Chicago Sustainable Policies

  1. Very interesting topic. I’m stunned that 50% of construction waste is recycled because like you mentioned, Chicago appears to always be under construction. I really enjoyed how you tied this architectural aspect to a sustainable outreach as well, because it’s true that at the end of the day both parties need to work together to try and create a green healthy environment.


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