Quality Air in Chicago

 

Cities are centers with lots of people, and where there are lots of people comes plenty of buses, cars, and trains to transport them places. Cities are widely known to be filled with air pollutants and the air quality is not the best. A 2015 article from the Chicago Tribune highlights how much of Chicago’s history (in the 1950’s and as early as the 1870’s) has been covered by smoke and soot which were so thick it blotted out the sun. According to the Tribune article, “The Jungle Book” author Rudyard Kipling even noted back in 1891- Kipling had nothing good to say after a visit to Chicago mentioning that “its air is dirt” (2015). Unclean air not only looks bad it also effects the health of all people who inhabit the city. Certain groups of people are more at risk and those with already existing health concerns, like that of asthma, are exposed to air pollutants which can make their illnesses worse.  According to the World Health Organization, urban health risks are distributed unevenly among social groups with the most burden being concentrated among vulnerable segments like those living in slum areas.

While coming along way from the late 1800’s with more environmentally conscious vehicles, there still is a long way to go to improve transportation to make it more sustainable. Solutions for dirty air can be using cleaner energy sources like solar, wind, and geothermal sources instead of reliance on fossil fuels. Vehicles like buses and cars could switch to electric to minimize exhaust. Other solutions could be for the city to invest heavily on more bike paths and safer paths, and Divvy stations to encourage people to ride bikes or walk to their destinations. Another solution would be to increase the number of green spaces downtown to plant trees and where plants can flourish so that more oxygen is put into the air. Cleaner air means healthy people which would decrease the spread of diseases and overall make a better city.

 

Sources:

http://www.who.int/sustainable-development/cities/health-risks/about/en/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/history/ct-dirty-air-pollution-environment-chicago-flashback-per-0607-jm-20150605-story.html

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One thought on “Quality Air in Chicago

  1. I think your solutions are reasonable and easy to do. Having more green spaces is pretty easy in a city like Chicago. There are a lot of areas in the poorer neighborhoods that have a lot of abandoned property and vacant lots. These lots and abandoned property could be turned into green spaces for these people.

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