Objective 2: infrastructure differences

For this objective, we compare Chicago’s north to Chicago’s south and west sides. Chicago is located in the Great Lakes region. In winter, frequent storm systems bring cloudy skies, windy conditions, and snow. In summer, high-pressure systems in the subtropical Atlantic draw warm and humid ocean air into the area, and mesoscale convective systems also lead to frequent rainfall and thunderstorms. Climate projections show a significant increase in annual precipitation, with uncertain summer precipitation-related changes. However, the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events are projected to increase, as Chicago is in a region most affected by climate change-induced heatwaves. Therefore, preparation for future extreme precipitation and extreme heat must recognize green development, including green infrastructure for stormwater management . Topographic differences between the north and south sides of Chicagoland also contribute to the intensity and behavior of flooding. To elaborate, the north side is situated in parallel morainal ridges with the Chicago, DesPlaines, and Fox Rivers and tributaries gathering water across increasingly impervious urban development; the southside is characterized by a high water table that is perched above clay soils such that urban development has occurred in areas previously occupied by lakes, bogs, marshes, and wetlands whose hydrographic profiles persist.

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