Leave it to New York City to top Chicago after a momentous Earth Day weekend of important events and announcements in both cities. But Mayor Bloomberg did just that in releasing the PlaNYC on Sunday, which laid out a true sustainability map for the future of the nation's largest city, highlighting 127 projects and areas of improvement.
Chicago sponsored its first Green Festival, a party-like event featuring scores of green businesses, non-governmental organizations and more than 300 speakers at the mammoth McCormick Place convention center.
Mayor Daley addressed the Green Festival Saturday and drew a standing ovation from the record crowd when he challenged city residents to do simple things at home to reduce environment impacts such as to plant a tree, turn off water when brushing teeth, and use public transit or walk or bike to replace at least one auto trip per week.
Organizer Kevin Danaher from Global Exchange told me that Windy City attendance on Saturday went way beyond what he and partners Coop America felt comfortable handling, though I heard no complaints from any of those in the massive wonderfully diverse crowd of every race, age and interest. It was the Green Festival's first day in Chicago after being held in San Francisco for many years and Washington DC last fall. SustainLane sponsored the event.
Saturday, I moderated a standing-room only session on "Chicago's journey to become the greenest city in the nation" with a stellar panel consisting of Jacky Grimshaw, VP with Chicago Center for Neighborhood Technology; Jim Slama of Sustain USA, and Sadhu Johnston, Commissioner of the Environment for Chicago.