Chicago’s leaders have poured billions into ambitious programs to keep water away from roads and buildings. But urban flooding continues—overwhelmingly in communities of color—forcing experts to turn to new solutions.
- Almost five decades after Chicago embarked on one of the region’s most ambitious and expensive infrastructure projects to date, urban flooding continues to plague residents–particularly in communities of color.
- Local drainage systems in Chicago are deeply intertwined with private sector development. Therefore, efforts to address disparities in urban flooding run into a key obstacle: there isn’t much of a market incentive to develop solutions in the areas of greatest need.
- Experts believe the next task in stormwater management is utilizing a “smart” city approach in order to use existing infrastructure more effectively.
Laura Gersony is a reporting intern with Circle of Blue this summer and a third year at the University of Chicago, where she’s studying Political Science and Environmental Studies. She’s passionate about communicating how climate change and other environmental issues are experienced on the ground. In her free time, you can find Laura nursing seedlings on her windowsill, skateboarding around Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, or making unreasonably specific playlists on Spotify.