The City of Chicago has the opportunity to implement strategies to tackle waste and materials management that impact our economy, environment, and citizens every day. These strategies offer opportunities to reduce waste; increase diversion through reuse, recycling, and composting; reduce costs; and increase economic and environmental justice opportunities. Delta Institute was hired by the City of Chicago Office of the Mayor to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the entire municipal waste system and its directly related impacts on the community. As a core part of our efforts, Delta Institute developed a holistic, pragmatic roadmap with short-term recommendations for 2021-2022 to re-envision what materials management in Chicago could look like, while ultimately turning waste into resource.
This Land Acquisition Strategy was created to facilitate Michigan City in acquiring land for the sustainable management of stormwater through nature-based solutions and the protection of high-value natural areas by documenting institutional knowledge on land acquisition deals for conservation purposes and creating an easy-to-implement acquisition process.
In order to successfully use regenerative agriculture as a system to manage farmland, it is important to ensure that land managers and decision makers understand the key principles of regenerative agriculture. Though several definitions have been developed, they are all based on the idea that soil is a living, functioning system. This brief overview helps illustrate why land-owning public agencies can use regenerative agriculture for their farmland.
Delta’s Gary Green Infrastructure Plan is a two-year project focused on assisting the City of Gary with planning and implementing Green Infrastructure (GI). Since 2016, as part of the Plan, Delta Institute, the City of Gary, and our partners developed a GI Mapping Tool, city-wide GI Suitability Analysis, a GI Zoning Ordinance, a Stormwater Impact Financial Analysis, a prioritized GI project list, and GI management strategies. The GI Plan will play a significant role in how the city uses GI strategies to regulate land use, advance development projects, manage stormwater, control sewer overflow problems, and decrease pollution.
This tool is designed to assist communities in prioritizing brownfield sites for redevelopment. This scoring tool takes into account the following site and community characteristics: ownership, site use, land characteristics, community characteristics, community capacity, redevelopment incentives, infrastructure amenities, environmental conditions, and building characteristics.
Chicago has become a tale of two cities. In most of the City’s neighborhoods, income has declined, middle-class residents and immigrants are leaving, and employment opportunities are scarce. Yet the housing burden and the cost of living continue to rise. In this paper, Delta proposes to work with low- and moderate-income communities to create the Chicago Neighborhood Land Bank and Trust (CNLB&T). CNLB&T can create the capacity for member communities to manage their own redevelopment to achieve equity by building agency, assets, and opportunities for their residents.
This paper describes the process Delta Institute’s project team used to obtain and directly integrate a community’s goals and needs into an engineering-based, brownfields prioritization rubric. We scored brownfield sites to produce refined, site marketability scores and summaries that were then used to inform a more time intensive, flexible, and individualized community and stakeholder engagement process. We incorporated significant community input on desired reuse of the sites to ensure that potential redevelopment was inclusive, respectful, and culturally appropriate.
Delta Institute has worked with numerous communities who are faced with a closed or closing coal power plant. These sites have unique needs for redevelopment, ranging from environmental remediation to replacement of lost tax revenue and jobs. Delta facilitated a coalition of community groups located outside Pittsburgh, PA to create Guiding Principles for sustainable redevelopment of the closed Shenango Coke Plant property located on Neville Island, located on the Ohio River. Intended for use by future developers of the 50-acre site, these Guiding Principles were created by the Shenango Reimagined Advisory Council, composed of citizens, environmental groups, economic development agencies, and municipalities. The revisioning process also identified 20 site reuse ideas that are in alignment with Guiding Principles and market forces. These efforts were facilitated by Delta staff.
This section is a portion of our “Land Tenure and Conservation in Agriculture: Creating Incentives for Landowners” report issued in May 2019. This report explores the network of stakeholders, policies, and institutions through which soil health can be linked to the value of the land and serve as an incentive to change management of that land—and compiles a set of resources that may be taken in concert or used separately by a variety of stakeholders to advance soil health and agricultural
conservation practices on farmland in the Midwest and beyond.
This section is a portion of our “Land Tenure and Conservation in Agriculture: Creating Incentives for Landowners” report issued in May 2019. The report explores the network of stakeholders, policies, and institutions through which soil health can be linked to the value of the land and serve as an incentive to change management of that land—and compiles a set of resources that may be taken in concert or used separately by a variety of stakeholders to advance soil health and agricultural conservation practices on farmland in the Midwest and beyond.