Bioregional History: The Calumet Region Of Chicago

1749 words - 7 pages

Historically, Chicago has been and always will be a city of change both industrially and agriculturally to the metropolis we know and revere today with skyscrapers and culture abound. In order for the city to become the industrial hub, changes were made to the natural landscapes to accommodate business and residency. Steel became the staple good, and green spaces were demolished during the expansion of industry in the Calumet region by the masses in the creation of steel for railroad tracks and structural steel for commercial buildings. For geographical ambiance, The Calumet region of Chicago is consisted of the following neighborhoods: Burnside, Calumet Heights, East Side, Hegewisch, and Pullman, South Chicago, and South Deering. In this essay, I focus primarily on Pullman. It was unknown, or unsought of rather, how these implications would lead to issues of both economic and environmental injustice.
“Since 1980, the region’s economy has changed markedly, as large-scale facilities have closed, all too frequently leaving joblessness and contaminated “brownfields” in their wake. How to build a productive job-providing regional economy is a major Calumet issue. While major investments in traditional Calumet industries such as oil, steel, and automobiles continue, the region is also home to intriguing “creative placemaking” efforts, replete with vibrant main streets, arts and entertainment districts, and tourism-related developments that capitalize on the unparalleled crossroads character of the region and its cultural and natural assets.”
In this essay, I hope to argue that notwithstanding the fact that the Calumet region of Chicago has been at a substantially low point of economic growth and ecological restoration for many decades, there are positive possibilities that the region will restored in such a manner that environmentally sustainable to the natural ecosystem and redevelopment of industry from a steel-driven one. An idea of nature that is often presented as legitimacy of rational order in how people interact with environment and how the environment shapes human behavior, and it is complex with constructions of urbanization. Nature is also used as reinforcement of those ideologies.
“Chicago and the nation entered the Progressive era. …The 1901 steel strike ended in defeat for the union, and the once powerful Amalgamated slipped into irrelevancy. Chicago’s steel mills remained unorganized, yet U.S steel tried to sidestep Chicago radicalism by developing a whole new town just across the border in Indiana. Gary, Indiana became the center of the region’s steel industry. Not overtly planned in the tradition of Pullman but nonetheless a company town…”
The Calumet region’s beginning did not start agriculturally as the rest of the city; long before the industrial revolution it was beautiful, predominantly unsoiled from pollutants and economic decay. The Native Americans that lived in the region, by definition, lived symbiotically...

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