Sustainable Technologies Used to Build New Streetscape Along Cermak and Blue Island

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) today unveiled the “greenest street in America,” the first phase of a two-mile stretch of Blue Island Avenue and Cermak Road in the Pilsen neighborhood that is an unprecedented demonstration of how cutting-edge sustainable design and “complete streets” principles can be implemented in the public right of way.

“This project demonstrates a full range of sustainable design techniques that improve the urban ecosystem, promote economic development, increase the safety and usability of streets for all users, and build healthy communities,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein. “It provides both mitigation and adaptation strategies by reducing its carbon footprint and integrating technologies that allow the infrastructure to address and adapt to climate change.”

The Cermak/Blue Island Sustainable Streetscape has received quantifiable results by setting aggressive sustainability goals in eight performance areas such as stormwater management, material reuse, energy reduction, and placemaking.

The $14 million streetscape project is the first in the country to balance and incorporate such a wide spectrum of sustainable performance into a single urban roadway. The project was funded largely through Tax Increment Financing, as well as $800,000 worth of grants from the Federal Highway Administration, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Midwest Generation. Read More…

sustainable urban development