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Chicago’s Lakefront Design–Sustainable Urban Planning

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Water can be used for many purposes. However, those waterfront, lakeside or river inside the city, if you do not use them, then, for a city, it is worthless, they will become to that kind of waterfront, which even people do not like or appreciate. Water plays an important role in contributing urban space, which is an element in local decision-making. The waterfront is a very precious resource and is also a rich opportunity for urban development. It is a chance to escape the pressure of living. People also get a chance to breathe fresh air in urban life. This is Charles Moore for an overview of the city’s waterfront.

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In 1893, it was found to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Americas, held the World’s Fair in Chicago. To this end, the Chicago lakefront, people built a magnificent classical architecture, wide boulevards and absolutely beautiful open space, showing that good urban planning to beautify the urban landscape, improve the appearance of the city dirty role played by change. Since then, the United States launched a ‘the city beautiful movement’. Fair hosted chief planner, Daniel Hudson Burnham became famous.

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Currently, in the vicinity of Lake Michigan, the construction of the Lake green belt and Public Space in Lake District base on “Chicago Plan”, which made by Burnham and Bennett in 1909 developed . The protection and the limiting development for the lakefront and waterfront is a quite important step for keeping the features of Chicago.

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In this plan, Burnham predicted: In the future, water transportation will be replaced by rail and road transport, for the city of Chicago, which started by water transport, recently, the renovation of the Chicago River and the north and south tributaries, stringing the contact between Michigan Lake and the Chicago River, and planning a series of terminal facilities on this basis. So, for the long-term development, the lake area should be protected as a permanent urban public space.

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For the road system in the city centre, Burnham proposed an upper and lower layers of the transport system, which was designed to separate urban transport and cargo traffic. And also connected the double-deck of Chicago River stronger. In the city centre, he planned some broad commercial boulevards and avenues, and the centre became the focus point of the new radial road network. He offered to pay attention to the protection of the natural environment within the city limits, so that urban greening and lakeside green belt combined to form the city’s public space systems.

 

Burnham’s “Chicago Plan” is mainly focused on the protection and development of the lake area, it triggered a series of planning laws are mostly concerned with the lakefront, lake area is the main window to show the city. Throughout the lake area, in addition to this group is known as the Museum Quarter (Museum Campus) buildings, looking ahead, large areas of grass, trees and the main parking lots occupy the rest of those area, and this arrangement is the spirit, which emphasized in Burnham “Chicago plan”.

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Burnham’s inspiration comes from those cities impressions on urban beautification and planning, such as the boulevard to Europe, the London’s Thames River and the canal city of Venice. In this, he hopes to build a specific plan, which will help to build a beautiful city of Chicago — both provide a good living and working environment for the public, and also enable them to fully enjoy the natural landscape here gives them pleasure. He was raised in the plan: “green public space should cover the entire city,” “starting everything from the lake, the lake belongs to the people”. In order to implement these ideas, he planned a series of the peninsula, beaches, yacht clubs, playgrounds and parks in the lakeside area, hope that through these beautiful public spaces and facilities to create a good quality of life. In Burnham’s plan, the most attractive places in eastern lakeside city planning areas: two 2.5 km-long lake extends into a large public pier, dock surrounded by two intermediate synthesis of a huge harbour, where you can set up marina, is enclosed waters and as a city, “vestibular garden” Grant Park cultural makeup of the city centre and public events together.

 

Reference

Xue Liang . (2003)  ‘The evaluation about the River edge and lakefront of Chicago’ Chongqing Architecture [2003.2]  pp.50-52

2 thoughts on “Chicago’s Lakefront Design–Sustainable Urban Planning

  1. Water and river is the treasure of the city. Almost every great cities in the world has their own river and beautiful riverside. Chicago is one of them as well.I do like the Chicage Plan’s emphasizing on both protection and development of the lake areas which is the key demonstrating area of the city. What is more, I think the construction of the waterfront is also making sure that the quality of the city’s open space. People are more willing to go walking and communicating along the riverside and a lot business could run successfully at the waterfront as well. That is to say, the construction of the waterfront plays a very important role in the city in every aspects.

  2. Chicago, a city with unique waterside landscape, had the opportunity of re-planning and reconstruction after a great fire, and its traditional transportation and industrial center was reconstructed into an urban space and public artistic center. In the process reconstruction planning, the local government well applied Lake Michigan and Chicago River, the two previous resources of development of urban public space to continuously improve the lakeside environment and was devoted to developing the public spaces on both banks of Chicago River, so as to support and promote the sustainable development of tourism and urban economy.

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