May 17, 2006
Business of Green
From today's NYT:
IN many ways, this city's current fortunes are all about mulch. It's everywhere. Bark mulch is spread in neat circles around the city's trees; roughly 30,000 new trees are planted annually. Darker leaf mulch fills planters along State, Dearborn, Michigan and the other major thoroughfares now blooming in spring colors.
Mulch adorns 70 miles of green medians that have been sown over the last decade with native flowers, grasses and bushes. It's spread on the gardens and open spaces now required by the city to accompany new homes, stores and office buildings. And it sits on many of the energy-saving green roofs of 200 buildings.
But even more than its soil-enriching, moisture-conserving utility, mulch is an organic metaphor , tying together the various pieces of Chicago's novel development strategy, praised by the Sierra Club and the Chamber of Commerce alike. By wrapping its arms and famous big shoulders around its Latin motto — Urbs in Horto (City in a Garden) — Chicago has become a global model for how a metropolis can pursue environmental goals to achieve economic success.
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