Mayor Richard M. Daley attended the 2010 Green Works Award Ceremony this evening at the Morningstar Auditorium, 108 North State Street where he was joined by the people and organizations that are helping to forge a vibrant sustainable future for the City of Chicago.
The City of Chicago launched the Green Works Program in 2004 to promote and encourage great achievement among green builders and the businesses community. The Green Works Awards includes three categories: Sustainable Innovation in the Built Environment, Innovation in Green Business, and Community Leadership.
“Everyone here tonight is playing a major role in defining what it means to be green and sustainable because the future belongs to the cities that recognize that modern-day men and women want to live in metropolitan areas that offer open space, nice parks, clean beaches, jogging paths, bike trails, flowers, trees and grass,” said Mayor Daley.
The Green Works Awards program is raising awareness, inspiring action and supporting leadership. This year, there were 93 nominations from across the City. The awards Ceremony honors 13 winners in three categories; Innovation in Green Business, Sustainable Innovation in the Built Environment and Community Leadership.
Award applications are judged on three main criteria; vision, achievement and relevance to Chicago’s Climate Action Plan, a comprehensive and detailed plan to help lower greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.
Under Mayor Daley’s leadership Chicago has added more than 1,300 acres of new open space throughout the city since 1988. Chicago has also installed 90 miles of landscaped medians on major streets.
“In Chicago we have tried to lead by example. When our zoning ordinance was re-written in 2004, it enhanced the City’s ability to influence building design throughout the city.
Now, as we rehabilitate existing city buildings and construct new ones, we follow green building policies,” stated the Mayor.
In 2000, the City built a green roof on top of City Hall. There are now close to 7 million square feet of green roofs throughout the city, helping to improve air quality, reducing urban heat island effects and managing stormwater.
The City’s Center for Green Technology was the result of a rehabilitation of a former industrial building and is the first municipal building in the world to be awarded a platinum rating.
The Green Homes program recognizes green effort by builders and developers who are constructing new residential units in Chicago or renovating existing units.
It gives points to builders for every sustainable technique and material used in the construction of a new home or residential building and allows for contractors to qualify the projects for expedited permitting.
“In Chicago, we believe the essential idea on which cities must base their strategies for moving forward is simple; they must improve the quality of life for all their residents.”