Rahm Emanuel’s Greenspace Legacy

Throughout his term, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been keen on making Chicago “the city in a garden”. His goal has been to create as much greenspace, parks, trails and recreational areas as possible. This has been a major part of his legacy as mayor and I think it has been successful. Many times when I have watched the news, I see a new park that is being opened up under Rahm Emanuel’s policy of making Chicago America’s “Next Great Recreational Park”. He has incorporated much greenspace like Maggie Daley Park, The 606, Building on Burnham, Chicago’s Riverfront, the Paseo and many more local parks.

  1. What is its purpose and what issues prompted the rule to be put into effect in the first place?

The purpose is to create more accessible green space. Mayor Emanuel believes that every child should have access to a nearby park, especially for those kids whose parents cannot afford to take them on trips or National Parks. He also thinks that this will reduce crime. Giving the youth a place to play, spend time with friends, unwind and relax will help them develop better relationships and peace. with others

  1. Has the history or implementation of the regulation changed over time?

No, the history of this policy/legacy has not changed much over time. The mayor’s drive for this is still going strong with the most recent opening of Chicago’s Riverfront.

  1. Has it been productive? If yes, in what ways? If not, what can be done to encourage people to abide by these regulations?

The implementation of these greenspaces has been widely successful throughout the city. Some of the few examples listed above have been a huge hit among Chicagoans. If the mayor has already created this many parks and trails in his last five years, there are definitely many more to come.

  1. How do urban and national politics intersect around environmental issues?

The money, time, energy and labor could be economic and political issues. Chicago and America in general has great ideas for solving our environmental issues but it is also the question of money, time, or if a congressional leader could possibly endorse it.

 

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3 thoughts on “Rahm Emanuel’s Greenspace Legacy

  1. I would be interested in seeing where these greenspaces are actually being placed — I’m guessing not in low-income neighborhoods. It’s easy to have spaces in the Loop or in places of high traffic, but if there is no attempt to penetrate communities that need a transparent system to hear out their needs, accounting for what it takes to make a safe space and green space, there will be no achievement by the initiative because it will not inherently be accessible to all.

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  2. I agree that Rahm Emanuel has done a lot of good for the city in terms of green space, but maybe not always in the areas that need it the most. There are many neighborhoods in Chicago that could use the parks and public access a lot more than the downtown and north side. A great example of this is the Fisk Coal power plant in Pilsen that was closed down in 2012. This now unused land is the perfect place for a southern extension from the downtown river walk to make it a place for all communities to have easier access.

    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150122/pilsen/fomer-fisk-power-plant-could-become-park-cta-bus-garage
    http://delta-institute.org/2015/01/what-happens-to-a-coal-plant-after-it-closes/

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