Abstract

The Chicago Wilderness Biodiversity Recovery Plan has won state and national awards for its farsighted approach to regional biodiversity protection. Inspired by Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago, the Green Infrastructure Vision takes a step beyond the Recovery Plan by mapping an on-the-ground vision of what could and should be protected in the regional landscape. This Green Infrastructure Vision (GIV) identifies 1.8 million acres of macro-scale resource protection areas that span a region that includes southeastern Wisconsin, northeastern Illinois, and northwestern Indiana. This ambitious vision will require an integrated array of land protection techniques, including acquisition, conservation easements, greenway connections, restoration, and conservation development. Its implementation is being pursued at a range of spatial scales, including regional comprehensive plans, county and municipal plans and ordinances, and at the neighborhood and individual development level. The Vision presents unique opportunities and challenges for both the development community and local governments as progressive new approaches to sustainable land use and conservation development are considered and implemented.

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