Daniel Block, associate professor of geography at CSU, brought more than a dozen graduate and undergraduate geography students to give their presentation, which included PowerPoint presentations and question and answer sessions. Each group of two to three students discussed the two community areas they researched, covering each area’s demographics, local issues and community-driven sustainability programs.
The class is one of many from Chicago area universities that are contributing to Accelerate 77, the effort to find and catalog local sustainable and environmentally supportive efforts in each of the city’s 77 community areas. Classes and individual students from DePaul, Northeastern Illinois, Loyola, Roosevelt, and St. Xavier universities have also been active. As of May 10, 2012, 55 community areas have been covered.
The goal of AC77 is to increase the role and positive impact of local communities in realizing objectives of the Chicago Climate Action Plan. The hope is to connect them with one another to inspire new ideas, practices, self-consciousness and motivation through peer interchange while also engaging residents in systematic learning, planning, and collective action. The project is anticipated to accelerate environmental sustainability in a bottom-up fashion driven by practical action, expanded imagination, and greater organizational capacities among local groups.