Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Chicago Plugging Green

Through the leadership of Mayor Richard Daley, the City of Chicago has joined Plug In Partners with a big bang by committing to purchase 850 plug in hybrid vehicles.

Recently, Chicago's greening was highlighted in Time.

The Greening of Chicago
Mayor Richard Daley wants to turn the City of Big Shoulders into the most environmentally friendly city in the U.S., and he's not just blowing hot air


"Chicago, a blue-collar city of asphalt and glass and concrete canyons, would seem an odd place for admitted tree-hugger Sadhu Johnston to think he could save the planet. But Johnston, Mayor Richard M. Daley' s environmental commissioner, believes that cities are actually the answer to the earth's environmental ills.

And with that in mind, he is working to turn Chicago into what he claims will be the most environmentally friendly city in the U.S. — as well as the nation's center for environmental design and the manufacturing of components for the production of alternative energy.

If it works — and Daley is betting a hefty sum it will, with promises to buy millions in solar panels, for example — the green movement here is expected to yield the city perhaps billions in saved energy costs and new business.

"This is way beyond tree hugging in Chicago," said Johnston, 31, who before coming to Chicago helped dust some of the rust off of Cleveland's image by serving as executive director of the non-profit Cleveland Green Building Coalition. "

This is about quality of life. What we're talking about is creating a city that exists in harmony with the world, a place that can be a model.


In much the same way that cities like Austin and San Francisco latched onto the boom in the Internet or biotech industry to propel their economies, Chicago is working hard to rev up its manufacturing and capitalize on the growth in green construction and wind and solar energies. "

Chicago is also going to start a green roof program.

Now, as a Plug In Partner, Chicago becomes an important part of the move toward Plug in Hybrids.

The plug in partner campaign has recently received fleet orders from other cities and states. Here are the most recent.

Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources 1800
City of Seattle 410
King County, WA 22
Shohomish Co, WA 300
Chicago 850


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