Chicago has been undertaking a Green Roof Program to lower urban heat. In the past decade over 200 green roofs (roofs converted or constructed to be like yards or gardens) have been built around Chicago, making it the city with the most green roofs in the U.S. The city government has been a major support in this program, transforming several public buildings’ roofs into gardens and yards including the block-large city hall. Traditional concrete or asphalt roofs trap heat contributing to urban warming, so by replacing conventional roofs with green roofs, city temperatures are lowered. Chicago also has a rooftop urban beekeeping program that is providing habitats for pollinators and pollination to city gardens.
Since the beginning of the millennium, Chicago has been a leader in incorporating green practices into the city life. In 2006, the city enacted the Environmental Action Agenda, specifically aimed at improving the city’s environmental impact in terms of energy and natural resource conservation, and building and vehicle standards. Among the initiatives that Chicago has recently enacted is the creation of more green space, in the form of green roofs. Chicago has also made significant efforts to renovate their older buildings to meet high standards of efficiency, including their Center for Green Technology, which was originally built in the 50s and was recently renovated to meet LEED platinum standards. Much of Chicago’s new construction has likewise been geared toward meeting high standards of efficiency and resource conservation. Chicago’s museums have taken an important role in the city’s geen efforts by making their buildings and exhibits more eco friendly and by investing in programs and exhibits aimed at promoting green innovations and educating the public about conservation.
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