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What now?

Go Green.  A “renaissance of ideas” fueled by the Olympics bid “giv[es] the city the opportunity to build a world-class, environmentally sustainable city” — a goal “that can pay both economic and environmental dividends,” Center for Neighborhood Technology said in a statement following the host city decision Friday.

CNT called for revitalizing and expanding local and regional public transit systems, reducing energy consumption in the built environment and the transportation sector, promoting green infrastructure practices around water conservation and neighborhood sustainability, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and “infusing transparency and accountability into every step of the process.”

“The ‘green’ in this vision is both environmental and economic. Restoring the level of transit service to what it was a century ago can reduce the cost of living for working families by 10 to 20 percent, making up much of what’s been lost in the recession, while cutting harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Building infrastructure in communities will restore fuller employment, much as the recovery did after the Great Depression.

“Let’s come together in a way that no other region has—but that every region must—to meet our economic and environmental challenges. Now is our chance to get the basics down: efficient transportation, natural resource conservation, affordable housing, local employment, and connections that affirm our place in the nation and the world.”

The full statement is at cnt.org.

Empower communities.  By “empower[ing] the city’s diverse communities,” Chicago “can be a gold-medal city way before 2016,” said JCUA’s Jane Ramsey in a statement issued Friday.

“Like a coach reviewing the films of a big loss, Chicago must learn from its mistakes. A winning city can’t take for granted voices that demand community development, transparency, government accountability and oversight. A community of winners must engage all communities in realizing a vision of Chicago’s future.

“Instead of half-heartedly listening to its citizens in order to impress Olympic voters, Chicago must let the voices of all communities lead the way to a vibrant city, where all residents have access to housing, schools and jobs. That’s the Chicago that will gain the world’s respect.”  The full statement is at jcua.org.

Solidarity with Rio. “Now is the time to stand with the people of Rio,” writes Dave Zirin at Huffington Post Chicago (Zirin was probably first noted among local media here).

“It’s no secret why the IOC licked their lips at the thought of Brazil. Like China, Brazil is an emerging market yet to be fully ‘branded’ by global multinationals. They also have a police force that shoots first and asks questions never. Their President Lula, who comes from a radical union background, has clearly shown the decrepit, corrupt, IOC Mafiosi that he is willing to play ball.

“If history is any kind of a guide, the pain for Brazil’s working people is now on the immediate horizon. It’s our duty to do whatever we can to express solidarity with the favelas, the landless peasants, and the workers about to stare down the barrel of ‘Olympism.'”

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Category: Olympics

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