Chicago's new waterfront is a research project developed withing the Brazilian Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP) during the Summer 2016. The project was featured on the Illinois Tech Today Facebook page and was presented at the Armour R&D Expo held on July 12, 2016.
The research project is based in Chicago and focuses on the challenges the city will face in the future due to climate change; in particular, we worked on stormwater management and on the combined sewer overflows (CSOs) issue. The project team, which included architecture and engineering students, proposed the design of a series of stormwater management parks located along Chicago's riverfront. The goal of this green (blue) infrastructure is to reduce the impact of heavy rain events on Chicago's sewer system and, consequently, CSO occurrences. At the same time, the project is an extension of Chicago's waterfront - from the lake to the river - where a sequence of public spaces allows access to the river while serving as stormwater management parks.
The project team selected Bubbly Creek as a sample area on the riverfront. Bubbly Creek once served as a backwater dump for the city’s Union Stockyards, which closed in 1971. This branch of the Chicago River is very polluted and still bubbles with methane and hydrogen sulfide gases from decomposing animal remains. The project will contribute reducing water pollution.