Nicknamed “the Second City” for a number of reasons, Chicago is known for its amazing architecture and sensible urban planning. Sources cite that because of the great Chicago fire, the city had a chance to reset its urban design. Plus, with the guide of Daniel Burnham’s “The Plan of Chicago”, Chicago was able to find a sensible urban development guide.
“The clues are inferential, and turn us to the past. At best, we can only offer suggestions, comparisons, circuits.” — Whitman
Whitman once spoke about how crucial the past is in order to learn from previous mistakes in order to keep bettering our society. Chicago, after the fire, was able to bounce back and become a stronger city because of its ability to learn from past mistakes (plus having space for all of these building projects also helped).
But included in the guide was Burnham’s idea that every citizen in Chicago should be within walking distance to a park. Grant Park, Millennium Park, Lincoln Park, and other parks are located in the city. Right in the heart of the city the idea is that people should be able to have access to direct sunlight and be able to go into open spaces in busy cities.
“I love the civility, I love the humility, I love the respect, I love the friendliness, I love the lack of entitlement.” — Northwestern President Schapiro
The Chicago Loop has been regarded as one of the smartest designs for transit because of its circuit shape. The streets were constructed to be wider, and alleys were built as a way to help circumvent the amount of trash collecting on the curb. These are all innovations because of the luxury of starting over, but they are all worthwhile accomplishments which lead to Chicago being a lovely city full of life and laughter without all of the stress of cramped streets and dirty public spaces.
Having these public parks in the middle of the city is absolutely genius. Art lines the parks, and many buildings provide ample room in the skyline to allow sunlight to pour through to these public spaces. The Chicago Loop is amazing, I am so glad to have gotten to experience it firsthand and truly feel this open space in the middle of a big city.