Chicago

United States
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Elected 2011

Chicago in our Blog

Through C40’s Private Building Efficiency Network, cities work together to improve the energy efficiency of existing commercial and residential buildings. In 2014 several cities, led by Tokyo, developed the report Urban Efficiency: a global survey of building energy efficiency policies in cities. The report incorporated best practices from around the world, including financial incentives, sectoral benchmarking, and building optimisation programmes into city energy plans and roadmaps. Other cities used it as an evidence base to push for the introduction of new, ambitious building energy policies or expand already successful schemes. We hope the next instalment of this report will prove just as valuable.

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As mayors of major cities worldwide consider how to drive economic opportunity, create new public spaces and find more environmentally sustainable uses for aging infrastructure, they are increasingly turning to the development of urban waterfronts. To harness the power of that movement, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo today announced that the City of Chicago and the City of Paris will co-host a worldwide mayoral forum in Chicago on March 13, 2017 to foster an international conversation about the future of urban waterfronts.

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Transportation has always been essential to Chicago’s economic success. The city was established at the junction of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River and is currently the transfer point of half of all trans-continental goods. With the second-largest public transportation system in the country, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) are bringing Bus Rapid Transit to the downtown “Loop” area, the second-busiest downtown in the U.S. and the heart of the regional economy.

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As Mayor Rahm Emanuel reaches his second anniversary leading the City of Chicago, our “city in a garden” reflects on dramatic progress and continuing efforts to make Chicago one of the most competitive, livable, and environmentally sustainable places on the planet.

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This week, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the winners of the Mayors Challenge, a contest launched last June to award $9 million to five US cities that come up with innovative ideas for solving major problems and improving quality of life. Out of a pool of more than 300 competitors, three C40 cities — Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia — took home $1 million each to put their ideas into action.

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Climate change is the most pressing environmental, social and economic problem facing the planet, a problem that is intensifying while global climate treaties and national legislation have hit roadblocks. Driven by the burning of fossil fuels, CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere is rapidly reaching critical levels. This combined with rising temperatures, erratic weather patterns and the depletion of water resources, makes taking action even that much more critical.

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Last Thursday, Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the initial Partners of the Better Buildings Challenge at the Clinton Global Initiative America conference in Chicago, a C40 City. This challenge is part of the White House-led Better Buildings Initiative to increase private sector investment in building energy efficiency and reduce energy use in buildings by 20 percent by 2020 to save money, create jobs, and improve our environment. The focus and potential of the Better Buildings Challenge is to spur job creation in the construction and building industries.

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