Bahrain National Planning Development Strategy
Seeking to revitalize a vast, formerly industrial site on the South Chicago lakefront, SOM developed a vision for sustainable community that foregrounds renewable energy, zero waste, and biodiversity.
Developers and community leaders have long discussed what to do with the vacant South Works steel mill site along Lake Michigan in South Chicago. Once the largest producer of structural steel in the world, the 600-acre site has remained a vacant brownfield for nearly 30 years.
Working with an international team of experts starting in 2004, SOM conceived an ambitious plan in 2010 to transform the property into a sustainable mixed-use community that foregrounds renewable energy, zero waste, and biodiversity. The resulting Lakeside master plan serves as a model for development within the City of Chicago and for future LEED ND developments.
SOM’s scheme, which incorporates LEED standards, proposes energy-saving systems to harvest solar and wind power, treat stormwater, recycle grey water, and protect natural resources. Organized around a walkable compact grid and accessible public transportation, the plan includes new landscaped boulevards, sidewalks, bike paths, a continuous lakefront park, smaller neighborhood parks, residential buildings, commercial and civic districts, and connections to the area’s existing transit stations.
Lakeside connects South Chicago neighborhoods to the water with more than three miles of new public lakefront parks. Additionally, a network of parks throughout the site places all homes within a three-minute walk to a green space. The plan also calls for extending a pedestrian and bike path from downtown to the Lakeside development and rail service improvements to strengthen connections to the city and the surrounding region.
The plan proposes a neighborhood utility to operate district energy systems, as well as a “living lab” prototype to promote new green technologies. Each building will plug into district infrastructure, eliminating the need for chillers and boilers. High-efficiency building envelopes and MEP systems further outline energy, water, and waste reduction goals.
Clean electricity sources, a smart-grid delivery system, and advanced stormwater and wastewater management strategies achieve a net-positive water balance. Additional sustainability strategies include water recycling, native landscaping programs, and utilizing renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.
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