Bronzeville Line Urban Energy (B.L.U.E.)


LOCATION: Chicago, Illinois, USA

SUMMARY: Our solution is creating community based renewable energy and urban agriculture on a vacated rail and electric substation. The structures are brownfield and create areas of refuse collection, vagrancy and danger to local children. The project provides an opportunity for our local community to contribute to renewable energy.

PROBLEM SPACE: “Climate crisis is a systemic, local and global problem. Under and unemployment affects multiple cities, states and countries. Jobs that barely afford healthy diets impact communities. Our target community has been designated a food desert. Unemployment in the target community (Bronzeville) is estimated at over 20%.

Locally we will be addressing the following problems:
+ Lack of fresh produce at an affordable price- by establishing commercial greenhouses
+ Local unemployment – by creating employment on multiple skill levels within the food chain operations and renewable energy
+ Need to increase renewable energy portfolios—– by creating community owned and operated renewable energy cooperative
+ Closed schools and discontinued after school learning projects -Lack of education about global warming in the minority community by providing sustainable living project based learning.

Globally we will be addressing carbon emissions and the resultant climate crisis.”

SOLUTION: “The project is located on the south side of Chicago, in the historic district of Bronzeville. Bronzeville once was home to thousands of families that came to Chicago from the south during the great migration of 1916. During the early 1900s the railroad that serviced the Chicago Stockyard went through what became Bronzeville. Since the 1950s it has stood unused. It and the electric sub-station that once supplied the train have become a site for vagrants, curious teens and garbage accumulation. We see a potential future for the nearly 2.5 miles of unobstructed south face ranging in height from 12 feet to nearly 20 feet. The orientation is perfect for local solar generation. The embankment is approximately 40 feet wide and thus suitable to site commercial scale greenhouses able to take advantage of both passive and active solar.

The is a poster project for utilizing brownfields, urban innovation, workforce development with employment after training, addressing food deserts in urban communities, environmental urban design and community based cooperative projects.”

CONTACT: [email protected]