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Tallest Building in the U.S. Becomes Solar Farm

Category: ⚐ EN+sustainability+urbanism

When people get to talking about the greenest city in the U.S., they’re usually referring to Portland, Oregon, which boasts an exceptionally, historically environmentally conscious, pro-active citizenship. Chicago, with its famous theater, symphony, and Navy Pier bi-weekly summer firework displays,  is usually acknowledged for its art and music.

However, Chicago deserves more recognition for its architecture, which has, in recent years, boasted some of the greenest (and I mean this quite literally) initiatives in the country. Like many U.S. city Mayors, Richard M. Daley announced his intention to make Chicago the greenest city in America. He began this transformation by transforming the Chicago City Hall rooftop into a green garden. Other Chicago dwellers followed suit, greening up businesses and homes with vertical and rooftop gardens.By 2009, Chicago was the city with the most LEED certified buildings in the country.

This week though,  we’ve learned that Chicago is taking its environmentally friendly architectural history one step further. The Willis Tower, formally known as the sears center, will be adding a vertical solar farm on the 56th floor.

The Willis tower is tall – really tall. In fact this ¨planting¨ means there will soon be a vertical solar farm on the tallest building in America!

While Chicago is definitely not the most environmentally conscious city in America, as it lacks the extent of aggressive sustainable development policies and pro-active citizen initiatives that Portland owns, Chicago’s leadership in promoting ¨green¨ architecture is really something special.

Chicago is the city of the arts – it’s a visual city. Adorning the tallest building in the country with solar panels represents and promotes sustainable development  as a partner of the American city.

The 1.3 million tourists who come to gape at the willis building each year will now have a bit greener of an image of what 21st century urbanism can be. I propose the addition of a vertical  garden next…

(Vertical garden at Caixa Forum, Madrid)

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MetaBoulevard: democratizing the Chicago boulevard network

Category: ⚐ EN+competitions+urbanism

Ecosistema Urbano is pleased to present the project of our collaborator Noa Peer, awarded an Honorable Mention in the international competition “NETWORK RESET” an international design competition to rethink the Chicago Boulevard System.

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competition: NETWORK RESET

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture

MAS Studio and the Chicago Architectural Club are pleased to announce the competition: NETWORK RESET, a single-stage international competition that seeks to provide ideas and actions that can reactivate the Boulevard System of Chicago and rethink its potential role in the city.

Participants are asked to look at the urban scale and propose a framework for the entire boulevard system as well as provide answers and visualize the interventions at a smaller scale that can directly impact its potential users. Through images, diagrams and drawings we want to know what are those soft or hard, big or small, temporary or permanent interventions that can reactivate and reset the Boulevard System of Chicago.

NETWORK RESET is made possible in part by the generous support of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture LLP.

For more information, please visit:
To register, please visit: continue reading

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Ecosistema urbano lecturing in Chicago

Category: ⚐ EN+ecosistema urbano

Today December 1st, Belinda Tato (@belindatato) will be lecturing at Instituto Cervantes of Chicago, presenting ecosistema urbano’s latest works in the context of Madrid’s recent urban transformation. The lecture is within a series that showcases the most recent urban transformation of Spanish cities: Bilbao, Barcelona and Madrid. Other participants have been Ibon Areso, and Eduard Bru.

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Category: ⚐ EN+architecture

Mine the Gap: “An international design ideas competition dedicated to examining one of the most visible scars left after the collapse of the real estate market in Chicago: the massive hole along the Lake Michigan shore that was to have been—and may yet be—the foundation for a singular 150-story condominium tower designed by an internationally-renowned Spanish architect, a tower which was to have become a new icon for the city and region. What to do with the gap?” Submissions due: “anytime between March 22, 2010 and May 3, 2010.”