Every day, Chicagoans flush away more than 1 billion gallons of fresh Lake Michigan water. But rather than redistributing back to the Great Lakes, it flows into the Mississippi River.
Architecture and urban design firm UrbanLab is drawing up plans to change this ? by capturing, cleaning, and returning 100% of Chicago's wastewater to Lake Michigan.
The Growing Water Project won the History Channel's national Design and Engineering Challenge in 2007 and was named a Buckminster Fuller Challenge finalist in June. It consists of an estimated 50 "eco-boulevards"?strips of land such as roadways and sidewalks, transformed into green infrastructure?spread throughout the city to naturally capture and treat wastewater before returning it to Lake Michigan, and create a closed water loop within the city.
UrbanLab is currently working with City of Chicago officials to continue the development of the Eco-Boulevard project.