29: Water, Lead and Sustainable Pipes

USAV Video Summary

This video, featuring all original recordings and text, summarizes the two issues – and their tandem solutions – that our group outlined over the course of our USAV papers.

The video starts by acknowledging that while Chicagoans should have access to some of the cleanest drinking water in the region, city mismanagement has lead to a looming crisis of lead poisoning.

Next, the video summarizes how the city continues to make a bad situation worse, citing the same Tribune articles and research that made up the core of our USAV papers.

Finally, the video reintroduces our proposed solutions – PVC pipes, and a commitment from the city of Chicago to help homeowners get rid of their lead ones.





Hybrid/Electric Buses (26)


In today’s urbanized society, airborne pollutants such as automobile emissions are causing a problem in the way we live our day to day lives. The change for ingenuity within transportation is one of many ways that can help seize the problem, within the city it’s even more drastic due to the densely populated area and use of public transit. First off, public transit is to encourage a cleaner air initiative, it is so that people won’t have to use their own personal vehicles to contribute to the greenhouse gases. Within cities there are plenty of ways to get around, on train, bus, cab, bike, ferry, cable car, it’s all dependent on the city but usually the incentives to use them are higher.  The next step is making sure the vehicles used to accommodate the community aren’t causing the same amount of pollution. That’s where Hybrid and Electric Vehicles come into play, we can make the switch from diesel buses to reduce emissions drastically. The idea is conducted within plenty of cities in the U.S and outside across the World. The plan here is to have it adopted and become a norm since electricity is cheaper and safer than conventional fuels.


References :






Bio-composites for a sustainable future. (36)



This video is designed to educate you about bio-composites.  First I’ll cover current waste issues that the United States is facing. Then, i’ll talk about why bio-composites matter, how they are made, and possible uses of them.  After watching this, I hope you start thinking about the further uses that they can have, and how you can make an impact by using or making them.


“Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 21 Nov. 2017, http://www.epa.gov/smm/advancing-sustainable-materials-management-facts-and-figures.

Hoch, M. Organotin Compounds in the Environment — an Overview . 16 Vol. ,
2001. Web.

Judith L. Fridovich-Keil. Bioplastic . Encyclopædia Britannica Inc, 2016. Print.

Staff, Creative Mechanisms. “Everything You Need to Know About Bioplastics.
Creative Mechanisms. 2016. Web. Apr 1, 2018

< https://www.creativemechanisms.com/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-a
bout-bioplastics >.




Blanket the Homeless (40)

This video outlines a solution for homeless people during a disaster situation in Chicago. The implementation of a Portable Safety Blanket System will be vital in saving the lives and caring for the homeless people who brave the elements during torrential rain and blizzards. I believe the city of Chicago has an obligation to help those who are less fortunate and potentially save the lives of countless people across the city who lose their lives due to bearing the elements. The Portable Safety Blanket System (PSBS) is a blanket with Velcro straps that can cocoon a person and keep their vital organs safe and warm when their body may be under danger from the weather conditions.



Group 38 Urban Homesteading

In my home in Denver, CO I have chickens in my backyard as a part of my family’s effort to become more sustainable and eat more locally. In my video I will show everyone my urban homestead with a brief description of what goes into urban homesteading. I will show how my family and I: eat local, reduce food waste, compost food scraps and chicken waste, reuse rain water, and much more!

Urban Food Gardens (45)

As the world’s population continues to steadily increase, we need to find sustainable ways and solutions to source foods for such a population. This video will briefly introduce both the problems regarding food insecurity and some possible solutions, some of which have been put into practice.




#33 Preservation and Sustainability

Preservation isn’t about the past it’s about the future. It’s an urban planning tool all communities should use because the practice of preservation is deeply rooted in sustainability.  For decades to revitalize urban areas and remove so-called blight neighborhoods and commercial streetscapes have been bulldozed and reduced to rubble.  Existing structures are demolished daily to make way for new sustainable structures that are constructed with green, eco-friendly building materials.



Photo by Tom Bauer 


Out with the old and in with the new is a trend preservationist don’t support. They subscribe to the theory that the greenest building is the one that is already built and the National Park Service agrees.  Preservation of existing buildings is the more sustainable practice versus constructing new “green” buildings. Former Executive Director of the Global Heritage Fund, Vincent Michael said that “95% of historic preservation is adaptive re-use: bringing buildings into the present while retaining their embodied energy”.

The concept of embodied energy is useful when trying to understand why repurposing an existing building might make environmental sense contrasted with constructing a new, energy efficient building. Embodied energy equals the sum of all energy that is consumed in the process of developing a structure.  Older structures typically contain materials that are low on consumptive energy while new buildings are constructed with materials that are high on consumptive energy.

Preservation is sustainable development but not just from an environmental perspective; one must also consider the economics behind it.  Preservation stimulates the local economy, creates jobs, promotes heritage tourism, brings stability to the real estate market and keeps housing affordable. These items contribute to urban sustainability, and one could argue that if a re-urbanization plan doesn’t have a preservation component, then the plan isn’t sustainable.

This video will highlight the issues associated with razing existing structures to build new. The role older structures play in sustaining the urban environment. The institutions behind preservation, and show an example of a thriving urban area that used preservation as a tool to help stabilize and revitalize their community.






#22 Economic Costs of Climate Change Driven Natural disasters

I’m sure you’ve heard about all of the recent natural disasters in the news, but do you know exactly what is causing them and how costly they actually are?  The increase in severity and frequency of natural disasters is due to climate change.  Climate change effects the weather patterns, which may lead to droughts and forest fires, and warming temperatures allow for much larger storms to form.  The many disasters that have recently occurred such as hurricanes in Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida, and forest fires in California have all costed us lots of money.  According to Patrick Marshall in a Congressional Quarterly article, “Last year was the costliest year ever for natural disasters, with $306 billion in total damage”(Marshall).  This is an alarming number and shows just how much of an impact that climate change has on our lives.  We are already having trouble dealing with the response and costs of these disasters and things will continue to get worse as climate change progresses.  This was evident especially in Puerto Rico, as an insufficient response caused people to go without their basic needs for far too long.  Our disaster response budget needs to be greatly increased, as it doesn’t consider the increase in natural disasters caused by climate change.  The costs of natural disasters are just one of the many reasons why taking action on climate change is very important.

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Marshall, Patrick. “Disaster Readiness.” CQ Researcher 28.2 : 48. CQ Researcher Online. Web. 2/11/2018.



19. Use Public Transit

mchrza4, emart28, bsolis4

In a society ruled by productivity, commuting can become one of the most essential parts of our day. From getting to work on time to making daily trips in a timely fashion, how we commute can have a huge impact on our lives. More so however, how we commute can have a huge impact on our environment. While jumping in your own car and driving wherever you need to go whenever you need to go there may be tempting, the negative impact you are having on the environment far outweighs the upsides of this individual approach to transportation. In this video, we will explore the problems with commuting by car and exactly why taking public forms of transportation is a far more environmentally responsible option.

 Featured is the various types of transportation Chicago has to offer including; the CTA’s intricate railways and plentiful bus routes as well as greener options such as Divvy bike stations and personal bike racks throughout the city and its perimeters. This is contrasted with overcrowded intersections, streets, and parking lots. Returning to the problem of excessive use of motor vehicles, we address the catastrophic outcomes of not changing our habits when compared to making a change. It’s made clear that driving simply isn’t a worthwhile option.

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 9.25.54 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 9.28.10 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 9.30.37 PM.png

Photos Sources:

Car Cat – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3MsxbfLWdQ                                               Bike Cat – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/45739752437540675/
Train Cat – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/329536897714476223/

Info sources:

Motive International. “Divvy Stations.” Divvy Bikes, Motives International, 2016, http://www.divvybikes.com/how-it-works.

Chicago Transit Authority. “Facts at a Glance.” Transit Chicago, Chicago Transit Authority, 2018, http://www.transitchicago.com/facts/.

City of Chicago. “Chicago Data Portal.” City of Chicago, City of Chicago, 2018, data.cityofchicago.org/.

U.S. Census Bureau. “Community Characteristics by Sex.” American Fact Finder, Fact Finder, 2016, factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_16_5YR_S0801&prodType=table.

Petro, Michael J. “Chicago’s Most Dangerous ‘L’ Stops.” Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney, 12 Feb. 2018, http://www.mjpetro.com/news/chicagos-dangerous-l-stops/.

Eder, Derek. “How Are People Getting to Work in Chicago?” Derek Eder, Derek Eder, 2017, derekeder.com/chicago_commute_modes/.

WLS. “CTA Adding 1,000 New Cameras, Improving Lighting at Stations as Part of Security Plan.” ABC7 Chicago, 27 Feb. 2018, abc7chicago.com/traffic/cta-adding-1000-new-cameras-improving-lighting-at-stations-as-part-of-security-plan/3147154/.

Moovit. “Facts and Usage Statisticas about Public Transit in Chicago, IL, US.” Moovit App, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Lincense, 2018, moovitapp.com/insights/en/Moovit_Insights_Public_Transit_Index_US_Chicago_IL-81.

Elejalde-Ruiz, Alexia. “Habits Bad for the Environment.” Chicagotribune.com, 8 Feb. 2011, http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/sns-gl-environment-enemies-story.html.

“Going Green | Environment.” CTA, www.transitchicago.com/environment/.

Emanuel, Rahm. “Rahm Emanuel: In Chicago, the Trains Actually Run on Time.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 3 July 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/03/opinion/rahm-emanuel-chicago-l-mass-transit.html.

Fostering Sustainability through Community Currency – Group 7

     Community Currency sets out on the goal of making the world more sustainable through the monetary and economic system. Community currency is shows to be a grassroot innovation shows to be efficient in nature because it boosts sustainable development because it recognizes that natural resources are being depleted on an increasingly large scale by the economic system, while also fostering the well- being of society and stabilizing local run markets. By doing so, community currency seeks the engagement of local populations by utilizing a system that brings economic stability in which reinvents the way money flows in that community. The functionality of community currency detracts from the conventional monetary system in that physical money is not always readily available and puts individuals in debt due.

    The basic vision of sustainable development indicates that the decision we make should bear in mind the interconnection of the economic, social and environmental spheres. With the aim to realize these objectives, new economics organizations and academics attempt to create new institutions or parallel infrastructures that comprise more sustainable systems of production and consumption.

    The utilization of a community currency system exists in many forms and all over the world. Community currency can come in various forms such as service credits, mutual exchange, local currencies, and even a barter market. This video shows a visual conceptualization of the flow of a community currency and one of the many ways in fostering sustainable development through economic groundwork.  




Group 7 –

Mayra Rodriguez (Mayrod23)

Sean Hardin (shoryukenpizza)

Keaton Fisher (keatonfisher)



“Bristol Pound – Our City. Our Money..” Bristolpound.org. N.p., 2018. Web. 4 Apr. 2018.

Douthwaite, R. J. Short Circuit: Strengthening Local Economies For Security In An Unstable World. Dublin, Ireland: Lilliput Press, 1996. Print.

Drew, Katherine Fischer, and Edward Peters. The Lombard Laws. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1973. Print.

Fisher, Walter K. “The Oldest Place Of Worship In The World.” The Scientific Monthly 2.6 (1916): 521-535. Web. 30 Mar. 2018.

Lietaer, Bernard A. The Future Of Money: Creating New Wealth, Work And A Wiser World. London: Century, 2001. Print.

Mellor, Mary. The Future Of Money. London: Pluto Press, 2010. Print.

Schaps, David M. The Invention Of Coinage And The Monetization Of Ancient Greece. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan, 2004. Print.

“The Wörgl Experiment: Austria (1932-1933) | Currency Solutions For A Wiser World.” Lietaer.com. N.p., 2018. Web. 4 Apr. 2018.