Into the Urban Wilderness

Reclamation and beautification projects come in all types. The Chicago Park District plans on achieving both for the old Bloomingdale rail by converting a portion into a 3-mile elevated Bloomingdale Trail and Park by 2014.  As with most urban renewal projects, the positives – and there are many – do not come without costs, of which displacement of current residents is one.  It might be hoped that due consideration is given for those for whom the existing area has been a kind of residential area.  Certainly the project’s benefits outweigh its costs, but as with all projects that incur displacement, there are unitended consequences in not properly taking the very human issues into account.  After all, these people and their needs do not disappear into the mist of a beautifully landscaped elevated trail.