Mayor Daley

The Greening of City Hall

ho would believe we have a green roof on top of City Hall? Who would believe more birds and more butterflies and grasshoppers, who would believe that this basically cuts the cost of energy at City Hall? What this project is all about is bringing the environment closer to urban areas and asking them to participate in a way to protect the environment for their families, for their communities, for their block club, at large and the world, and this is an example of what we've accomplished in the city, the first green roof on a public building.

"Thank God we've got skyscrapers ... we'd be all the way to Iowa by now."

Most people believe urban communities are steel, dirt, concrete, and they don't look at the environment, so what I'm trying to do is bring greening and green technology to our great city.

When we talk about sustainability of a city we're really talking about the environment and getting everyone in this city to recycle their waste material whether you're in a home or an apartment, a business or a residence and from there it's about the water -- the rainwater coming down, so you can use it in a rain barrel to green your home, to look at the material you're using to repair your home and look at the construction material. So sustainability is bringing the environment into an urban environment that is all concrete and steel and say we're here to stay.

Community Involvement

You just can't have issues dictated from the mayor's office and expect people to listen. We try to bring people together and listen to their ideas on how we can implement green technology or sustainability of the environment in an urban area like ours. It requires recycling, greening projects, greening on roofs. We cut the cost down, we talk about a water agenda, use fresh rainwater for the environment, not just put it in a river.

It requires us to look at our transportation, our buses, our cars, requires us to look at businesses, and how they need to do more landscaping, putting more trees in to clean the air up, the air has to be clean when you have a nation so dependant on oil, so then you have to look at solar energy, you have to look at windmills, you have to participate in international committees dealing with the environment and especially local committees.

When I think about cities lost and found ... cities were lost, people moved out and created urban sprawl. I tell people, if you look at Chicago, thank God we've got skyscrapers, we would have destroyed more farmland if we'd taken all the people in these skyscrapers and set them down on the land. We'd be all the way to Iowa by now.

Next: Mayor Daley on Sustainability