I’m in Chicago visiting family right now and I’m having the time of my life! Having spent four years in Houston, which is extremely car-oriented and lacking in any widespread awareness of the use of public spaces for parks and the like, my few days in this city have been filled with excitement and enjoyment.
Chicago is famous for many things, including its green roofs. Chicago’s City Hall features the most impressive green roof in the city, at 23,000 feet. Because it is used to research the effects of green roofs, it is not open to the public and I was sadly unable to visit it. So far, it has been established that this green roof saves about $3,600 a year in heating and cooling for the building.
PBS Newshour has a great slideshow featuring Chicago’s green roofs. For those who haven’t been to Chicago, it is worth noting that all the green roofs featured are in Downtown!
The City of Chicago’s Housing and Economic Development page provides a map showing the location of green roofs in the city, and provides access to related data about them. According to their latest study, there are 359 vegetated roofs within the City of Chicago, which cover 5,469,463 square feet. This website is a helpful guide to learning about and getting started with your own green roof if you live in Chicago.
I’ve been here for three days and I’ll be here for only one more, and I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to visit a green roof. The ChooseChicago website has a few pages on green roofs, but the information is not very specific.
I’ve fallen in love with Chicago and I hope I visit it soon–the sooner the better! Next time I aim to find my way to a green roof!