Environmental Justice Initiatives
Make historic new investments in environmental justice, including flood mitigation and green alleys in low- income neighborhoods, ‘tree equity’ to improve canopy coverage and foliage, and expand opportunities for environmental education and assessment within communities.
More than 11,000 trees planted across the City in 2023 as of July, with emphasis on tree planting in high-need areas to repair tree canopy and improve air quality.
Completed surveying and soil testing for 15 green alley sites, chosen based on criteria including 311 flood complaints, alleyway conditions, and economic factors of nearby residents.
A citywide Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) is in progress to characterize community-level exposure and vulnerability to pollution. CDPH recently released a draft of the City of Chicago’s Environmental Justice Action Plan for public comment, a Community Input Summary, a calendar of CIA community engagement events, and Progress Reports for each of the CIA working groups.
Goal to equitably plant an additional 15,000 trees in 2023, focusing on 22 community areas with the lowest tree canopy coverage.
Select next Space to Grow playgrounds.
Begin design for selected green alley sites.
Develop a sustainable community air monitoring strategy in partnership with EJ community organizations and academic partners.
The baseline CIA will be complete by September 1, 2023, with findings and recommendations to be presented to the Mayor and Chair of the City Council Committee on Environmental Protection & Energy by October 31, 2023.
At Schroud site, install barriers to prevent trespassing and conduct environmental remediation under joint plan with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
More trees mean healthier communities, and healthier communities mean healthier lives. Trees:
- Absorb carbon & help to lessen climate change effects
- Improve air quality & reduce pollution
- Reduce air & surface temperature, reducing urban heat islands while increasing cooling effects
- Decrease soil erosion & reduce dirt to sweep from curbs & sidewalk
- Repair local biodiversity by providing critical bird, small animal, & essential insect habitats while helping decrease pests.
- Soak up large amounts of water & help to manage storm water runoff and prevent floods