tradition of parks and boulevards stretches over a century, providing
the city with a world famous lakefront and its motto "Urbs
in Horto" or "City in a Garden." This idea of connecting
parks via treed boulevards has renewed importance today. People
are commuting by bike and foot and having a shaded, comfortable
place to do so is important. As animal habitat decreases world-wide,
it is critical that green space can provide pathways for birds
and insects to migrate. This two-mile stretch of King Drive, from
35th to 51st, gives people and animals a better chance at moving
through the city.
TGDA, working with Bob Benjamin, a former Chicago
Forester, is proposing a layered, managed urban forest that shifts
its canopy cover over time. As the existing honey locusts die
out, subtle mixtures of trees like sycamores and maples, or coffee
trees and hackberries, will replace them in uniform patterns.
The effort is to emulate the historic elm allees, but create a
diverse forest of trees that will withstand the impacts of disease.
We all hope this project to be the next legacy Chicago creates,
not only as a gateway to the Olympics in 2016, but as a continuation
of the grand visions for which this city is famous.