After the turn of the century, in 2001, the City Hall Rooftop Garden officially opened which added to the more than 7 million square feet of green roofs in Chicago. Even the Willis Tower (Formerly Sears Tower) got a green roof last year. The Green Alley Program, implemented in 2007, offered residents a better way to manage stormwater in city alleys. As of 2009 over 15,000 residential units and 400 businesses had been retrofitted for energy efficiency as a part of the Chicago Climate Action Plan which was kicked off only a year prior.
The full list of notable sustainable bullet points is beyond laudable. The 100 Cities Initiative even calls Chicago the “nation’s laboratory for studying ways to reduce the ‘urban heat island’ effect.” It is clear that the world will be looking to Windy City to continue leading by example in the years to come.