Awards, Press Releases

Chicago Lakeside Shortlisted for Sustainia Award

Photo © Curtis Waltz

Chicago, IL: The McCaffery Interests and U.S. Steel Corporation’s master plan for Chicago Lakeside, designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), has been named one of 10 finalists for the first Sustainia Award. The project was named to the Sustainia100 in July at the United Nation’s Rio+21 conference as one of 100 projects and ideas from 56 countries that represent the best ideas for sustainability in the world. The inaugural Sustainia Award will “honor the best sustainable solution,” according to organizers.

The winners of the Sustainia Award and the associated Community Award will be announced on Oct. 11 by former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger during a ceremony at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen. Selection of the Sustainia Award winner will be made by a jury consisting of Gov. Schwarzenegger, former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Chair Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri and EU Commissioner of Climate Action Connie Hedegaard. The Community Award winner will be chosen by the general public via voting through Sustainia’s large social media community.

“Lakeside presents us with a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a thriving 21st century innovative community for Chicago and the region. Lakeside will recharge the entire southeast lakefront and offer a new way for people to live, work, shop and recreate,” remarked McCaffery Interests CEO Daniel McCaffery.

Chicago Lakeside sits on a site of almost 600 acres along Chicago’s Lake Michigan shore. Formerly home to a steel mill, the land is devoid of infrastructure — creating an opportunity to develop the prime lakefront real estate as a twenty-first century neighborhood. “Chicago Lakeside is a transformative model for U.S. city planning and could upend the traditional thinking of how people live and work in Chicago and across the U.S.,” Sustainia writes in its citation. “The solutions utilized in Chicago Lakeside have strong site-specific characteristics, but the ‘DNA’ of the solutions is fully transferable to other cities.”

“Chicago Lakeside is a unique opportunity to create a new Chicago neighborhood with a twenty-first century infrastructure,” SOM Urban Design and Planning Partner Philip Enquist says. “We’re creating an intelligent district energy network using the most advanced clean energy technologies that will set examples for how to best live and work within a vibrant walkable community that connects seamlessly to the South Side.”

Plans include a rich mix of proposed uses, including over 15,000 residential units and more than 15-million-square-feet of retail, restaurants, commercial, institutional and research and development facilities. Open space will include two miles of new park land along the shores of Lake Michigan, extending the lakefront park system originally envisioned by Daniel Burnham in his legendary 1909 Plan of Chicago.

The “Lakeside Idea” is about bridging a brownfield industrial past to a green lifestyle future, from steel mill to innovation mill. Lakeside has assembled an international leadership team in the design of future-focused infrastructures — in water and energy conservation, transportation and personal mobility, renewable energy and digital connectivity. SOM Managing Partner Richard F. Tomlinson II, FAIA, says “Chicago Lakeside offers an opportunity for us to exercise these world-renowned skills in our own hometown to provide a catalyst for ecologically and economically sustainable growth on the South Side.”

The first work since the demolition of the U.S. Steel South Works more than 20 years ago began earlier this spring when construction began on the extension of Lake Shore Drive through the site between 79th and 87th Streets. The road is scheduled to be complete by December with landscaping work finished in spring 2013, helping to speed commutes for local residents and setting the stage for the initial construction of buildings within Chicago Lakeside soon afterwards.

The Sustainia Award is spearheaded by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and founded by leading international companies and Scandinavia’s leading independent think tank, Monday Morning, to raise awareness of the many tangible, sustainable solutions available across sectors and markets.

The winner of the the Sustainia Community Award will be determined via Facebook polling, so cast your vote for Chicago Lakeside now!

“Like” the Lakeside Facebook page:
Look for the Sustainia post pinned to the top of Chicago Lakeside Development’s news page

Deadline to vote is October 10th!

About Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering and urban-planning firms in the world, with a 75-year reputation for design excellence and a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since its inception, SOM has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with more than 1,500 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award—in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai and Abu Dhabi.