After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Chicago reinvented itself as a thriving hub that anchored the nation's commerce. In 1909, the Burnham Plan envisioned a "City Beautiful" - and called on all residents to act in the public's best interest to create it. Chicagoans have always faced obstacles with determination and imagination, and emerged all the stronger.
More than 15 years ago, Mayor Richard M. Daley began to transform Chicago into the most environmentally friendly city in the nation. Today, Chicago is one of the world's greenest and most livable cities, thanks to strong partnerships between government, residents and businesses. We lead the way from green roofs to green buildings and policies. We've become the nation's laboratory for studying ways to reduce the "urban heat island" effect, which can raise a city's temperature 4 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit on hot summer days. Our extensive public transit system offers a low-cost, energy-efficient alternative to solo driving. Our Bicycling program has produced more bike parking than any other U.S. city and 165 miles of bikeways. Our green homes and other programs help families save thousands of dollars through energy efficiency.
The past 15 years have also seen a tremendous growth in our understanding of climate change and the important role that cities can play in addressing it. This worldwide threat to our planet demands an encompassing plan from every city, state and nation and action from every resident and business to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases and to ensure a good quality of life for future generations.
It was with that charge in mind that Mayor Daley created a multi-stakeholder task force to produce a Chicago Climate Action Plan (CCAP).
The Task Force created a Plan that:
- Determines the challenges we face as our climate changes
- Describes the sources of our greenhouse gas emissions
- Sets goals to reduce our emissions and adopt to changes already affecting us
- Finds ways to leverage our knowledge to improve our economy and quality of life
- Outlines concrete, achievable goals for all those who make Chicago their home
This overview report summarizes the Chicago Climate Action Plan. For more detailed information, and to see the full scientific reports, visit www.chicagoclimateaction.org. Please join us by finding your role in implementing the Chicago Climate Action Plan.