The new Chicago Architecture Center’s new location at 111 E. Wacker opens to the public on August 31. Housed in a building designed by famed Chicago architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the center celebrates the city’s architectural legacy and presents a vision of its future.
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A New York City bill introduced on August 20 would create an ambitious mandate to reduce building energy use by up to 80% by 2050. This framework, the first of its kind in the nation, was made possible by the cross-sector 80x50 Buildings Partnership that represents environmental interests, affordable housing, unions, and the real estate industry.
On Tuesday, New York became the first city to place temporary restrictions on apps like Uber and Lyft, citing the need to further study their impacts on wages and traffic congestion and develop regulations accordingly. The rapid and transformative rise of these apps has raised broader questions about the costs and benefits of innovation, and the public sector’s role in managing them.
Following this week’s primary elections across the US, a record 185 women have been nominated for seats in the House of Representatives. This is the latest milestone in a year that has seen a surge in women running for office, a welcome development in light of the huge gender disparity in congressional representation.
The City of Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, a grant program for South and West Side small businesses, recently announced its latest group of grantees. Since its launch in 2017, the initiative has distributed over $10 million generated from downtown development, a model that is meant to foster equitable economic growth across the city.
Researchers have found evidence of a subglacial lake on Mars, the first indication that the planet currently has a persistent body of water. While it is far from certain whether lifeforms exist, or have existed, in these lakes, future missions now have clearer signposts for further investigation.
On July 18, Marriott announced it would stop using plastic straws across its properties over the next year, becoming the latest company to do so in recent weeks. While these types of policies can have unintended negative consequences, as Chicago learned from a past attempt to ban plastic bags, they also serve to surface deeper issues that can lead to more effective future interventions.
An international team of scientists released the first-ever photograph of a planet forming around a star, taken with the Very Large Telescope array. While the birth of a celestial body may seem removed from the day-to-day issues happening here on Earth, it is a reminder of the vast complexity of our universe, which may be beyond full human understanding but is still worth exploring.
Divvy, Chicago’s bikesharing program, celebrates its fifth anniversary on June 28, and I’ve been grateful for the way it has helped me get around. Efforts to ensure equitable access to bikes, including expansive station geography and the Divvy for Everyone program, have the potential to expand mobility on a truly citywide scale.
Since May 1 of this year, more rain has fallen in Chicago during this stretch than in any year since 1871, according to the National Weather Service. This spring's downpours (and extreme heat) are another reminder of the local impacts of climate change, which will continue to bring more intense and frequent storm events, and the imperative to pursue both mitigation and adaptation efforts.
On June 14, the University of Chicago announced that it would no longer require SAT or ACT scores for applicants starting in 2023, joining a small but growing set of test-optional colleges and universities. If this trend continues across a wide array of institutions, it could not only reduce high school students’ stress during the application process, but also contribute to more diverse and equitable college admissions.
Aided by Harvard scientists, a carbon sequestration company has announced that it has developed a technology to capture atmospheric carbon and convert it into climate-neutral fuel. Only time will reveal the ultimate impact of this breakthrough, and carbon capture technology in general: while it could circumvent many of the economic disruptions of transitioning from fossil fuels, it may also lessen the urgency of shifting to a truly carbon-free economy.