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Gang Sets Sights on Renewing Chicago River in New Book

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 17, 2011 5:45PM

Image via YouTube screen capture
Reverse Effect: Renewing Chicago's Waterways packs a lot of information in its 116 pages, but the density of the read is worth it.

The culmination of a year long collaboration between the National Resources Defense Council, students from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Studio Gang, the book is a historical narrative of the manipulation of the Chicago River and construction of the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS); its legal and environmental ramifications; and how to use the waterways as a catalyst for renewal.

Studio Gang architect and MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang was motivated to look at renewing the Chicago River after learning of a proposal by NRDC for a hydrological separation in the river at Bubbly Creek. Reverse Effect manages to mesh reports from NRDC, journalist Kari Lydersen, scientist Ruben Keller, first person account from people who use and live on the river and plans concocted by Harvard students that use the river as a source of center for 21st century transformation in Chicago.

Gang and NRDC Midwest Program Director Henry Henderson will discuss and sign copies of Reverse Effect at a free program 6 p.m. tonight at the Harold Washington Library's Cindy Pritzker Auditorium. WBEZ's Steve Edwards will host, which should make for a brisk and informative discussion.