cover of book
 

Sinking Chicago: Climate Change and the Remaking of a Flood-Prone Environment
by Harold L Platt
Temple University Press, 2018
Cloth: 978-1-4399-1548-6 | eISBN: 978-1-4399-1550-9 | Paper: 978-1-4399-1549-3
Library of Congress Classification QC903.2.U6P53 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 363.610977311

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC | REQUEST ACCESSIBLE FILE
ABOUT THIS BOOK

In Sinking Chicago, Harold Platt shows how people responded to climate change in one American city over a hundred-and-fifty-year period. During a long dry spell before 1945, city residents lost sight of the connections between land use, flood control, and water quality. Then, a combination of suburban sprawl and a wet period of extreme weather events created damaging runoff surges that sank Chicago and contaminated drinking supplies with raw sewage. 


Chicagoans had to learn how to remake a city built on a prairie wetland. They organized a grassroots movement to protect the six river watersheds in the semi-sacred forest preserves from being turned into open sewers, like the Chicago River. The politics of outdoor recreation clashed with the politics of water management. Platt charts a growing constituency of citizens who fought a corrupt political machine to reclaim the region’s waterways and Lake Michigan as a single eco-system. Environmentalists contested policymakers’ heroic, big-technology approaches with small-scale solutions for a flood-prone environment. Sinking Chicago lays out a roadmap to future planning outcomes.


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