The Chicagoland region, with over 9 million people, has struggled with finding a sustainable balance among providing healthy food choices, managing storm events, building efficient transportation, transit, and freight systems, and obtaining energy from renewable sources. These challenges are highlighted in the regional plan created by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, called GO TO 2040.
The Center for Permaculture and Appropriate Technology (CPAT) puts solutions to each of these challenges front and center. Permaculture is an establishment of perennials and trees and shrubs that produce food and create habitats for helpful birds and insects, outputting more food than monoculture farming without the use of chemicals and fertilizers; this will be realized onsite with a “food forest“. Appropriate technology is people-centered applications that are small-scale, decentralized, labor-intensive, energy-efficient, environmentally sound, and locally controlled.
Further explore the problems and solutions we identified, in these four focus areas: