Great Lakes Century Vision Plan

Great Lakes Vision Plan
  • Client Great Lakes And St. Lawrence Cities Initiative
  • Expertise Urban Design + Planning
  • Region North America
  • Location Great Lakes Region, United States

Project Facts
  • Size Site Area: 192,000,000 acres
  • Awards
    2013, Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2013, Charter Award, Congress for the New Urbanism 2013, International Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum 2011, Green Good Design Award, Chicago Athenaeum 2011, Regional and Urban Design: Special Recognition, AIA – Chicago Chapter 2013, Professional Award, American Society of Landscape Architects 2014, Honor Award, AIA – Illinois Chapter
  • Collaborators
    Chicago Architecture Foundation Thirst Spirit Of Space International Secretariat For Water
Project Facts
  • Size Site Area: 192,000,000 acres
  • Awards
    2013, Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2013, Charter Award, Congress for the New Urbanism 2013, International Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum 2011, Green Good Design Award, Chicago Athenaeum 2011, Regional and Urban Design: Special Recognition, AIA – Chicago Chapter 2013, Professional Award, American Society of Landscape Architects 2014, Honor Award, AIA – Illinois Chapter
  • Collaborators
    Chicago Architecture Foundation Thirst Spirit Of Space International Secretariat For Water

The Great Lakes contain approximately 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River watershed spanning from Duluth, Minnesota to the Atlantic Ocean is home to over 50 million people. Despite hundreds of important efforts to clean and protect the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, none addresses the international watershed comprehensively, as a whole ecosystem.

Inspired by the centennial of Burnham’s Plan of Chicago in 2009, SOM began a 100-year “call to vision” that outlines measures to protect the lake system and promote sustainable development in the 21st century. The pro-bono initiative illustrates opportunities to tap into renewable energy resources, improve regional transit options, and create an international park with 11,000 miles of waterfront. In the five years of this ongoing initiative, SOM’s design team has engaged scientists, public officials, businesses, and public policy advocates from over 40 organizations and presented the vision in dozens of speaking engagements, focusing attention on the opportunities and challenges associated with the future of the Great Lakes.

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