2020 Chicago River Summit


Speakers left to right: Mollie Dowling, Kevin Shafer, Palencia Mobley, and Mary Pat McGuire.

Tuesday, November 10; Thursday, November 12; and Friday, November 13, 2020
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

The 2020 Chicago River Summit will be held on Zoom.

Tickets are available here.

Government agencies across the nation are creating policy initiatives to spur the implementation and prioritization of green infrastructure (GI). Initiatives such as Philadelphia’s Green Cities, Clean Waters, and Milwaukee’s Green Infrastructure Plan demonstrate ways to create more resilient cities. 

Plan to attend Friends' 2020 Chicago River Summit to learn from experts from across the country about how they have developed and employed successful nature-based approaches for coordinated stormwater management and reduced impacts on their cities and natural resources.

Gray infrastructure cannot manage the effects of increased and more severe rainstorms brought on by the climate crisis. GI is a nature-based solution that can supplement gray infrastructure and offers numerous additional benefits. In dense, urban centers, GI will help us withstand and combat the climate crisis and reduce the urban heat island effect. It also increases infiltration and filters runoff, which reduces the flow of pollutants into the river system. Access to the natural environment also improves quality of life, mental well-being, and physical health for residents. Native habitat zones, even small ones, support native flora and fauna and substantially improve the migration opportunities for wildlife. According to The Blue-Green Corridor: Establishing the Intersection Between Economic Growth and Environmental Design, a 2019 study prepared by Friends and the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, every $1 invested in river corridor stormwater management provides a $1.77 in economic return.

Rainstorms will only become more intense and frequent; a resilient city cannot ignore this. Many agencies – in addition to all Chicagoans – have a stake in proper stormwater management, but little has been done to bring these stakeholders together and lead the creation and implementation of a regional GI plan. Until now: Join us as local and national experts explore the process of regional GI planning.

Tuesday, November 10:

Thursday, November 12:

  • Mary Pat McGuire, Landscape Architecture Professor, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
  • Mollie Dowling, Executive Director, OAI inc.
  • Adam Flickinger, Planning Director, Friends of the Chicago River

Friday, November 13:

Please contact Chelsey Grassfield, policy specialist, at cgrassfield@chicagoriver.org for more information.

Tickets are available here.

Thank you to our generous sponsors: