Green Tuesdays in the Village is an annual public lecture series on various environmental topics and issues specifically relevant to the Village of Oak Park. This is the third year for Green Tuesdays in the Village.

This year’s theme will take an ecological and systems approach to the Village of Oak Park, viewing our community as analogous to an ecosystem. An assessment of the “urban ecology” of the Village of Oak Park will be defined in terms of energy, material and information flows that occur within the interrelated human and natural pathways and throughout the surrounding environs.

April 1: The Ecology of an Urbanized Ecosystem

Location: Oak Park Public Library

Topic sponsor: Michael Roy Iversen, architect

Overview: In the same way that a natural ecosystem functions, so does an urban ecosystem. Analogous to a natural ecosystem, an urban ecosystem is a dynamic and interrelating complex system-that is, things are constantly entering and leaving as inputs and outputs. How should the state of the urban ecosystems be described in terms of content, boundaries, space and time? What are the functional and structural relationships among its elements? What are the indicators whether the current state of an urban ecosystem is functioning efficiently? What are the metrics? How is the decision to change (or conserve) an urban ecosystem made?
 

April 8: Green Infrastructure

Location: Public Works Facility

Topic sponsor: Environmental and Energy Advisory Commission

Overview: The premise of an ecological-based approach is that design is simply and fundamentally the intentional shaping of energy, matter, and process to meet a perceived need or desire. Therefore, the public works infrastructure of any community is the baseline for any analysis and assessment of the energy, material and information flows and cycles that are integral to environmental sustainability. This topic takes a look at the Village of Oak Park’s public works system and opportunities for a green infrastructure.
 

April 15: Integrated Human/Natural Landscapes

Location: Oak Park Public Library

Topic: Forestry Commission

Overview: As urbanization continues at an increasing pace and global scale, the need to integrate nature within our urbanized, built environment becomes increasingly critical. This topic explores how natural systems can become integrated with our urbanized built environment in Oak Park, so as to result in an integrated human/natural landscape. Topic includes urban forestry, biological pathways/easements, and ecological restoration within an urban ecosystem.
 

April 22: Green Blocks

Location: Oak Park Public Library

Topic sponsor: Green Blocks Initiative

Overview: The Green Blocks Initiative is an incremental, block-by-block approach to achieving integrated and ecological neighborhoods throughout the Village of Oak Park. The 300 S. Humphrey Avenue green block will demonstrate their progress on their green block initiatives from the past year.
 
April 29: Ecological Restoration and Historic Preservation

Location: Pleasant Home

Topic sponsor: Pleasant Home Foundation

Overview: Historic preservation faces some of the same questions as ecological restoration-such as, what gets preserved, does preservation stand in the way of progress, and who should determine what is significant? The intent of this topic is to provide an understanding of the commonalities and differences that exist between the two disciplines of historic preservation and ecological restoration so as to facilitate a more comprehensive approach in the emerging discipline of green historic preservation.

For additional information, contact: Michael Iversen, 708/383-1189, miversen@uic.edu, or Karen Rozmus, solid waste manager, Public Works Dept. /Solid Waste Division, staff liaison to the Environmental and Energy Advisory Commission, Village of Oak Park, 708/358.5707, Rozmus@oak-park.us.

Green Tuesdays schedule

Theme: Village of Oak Park: An Urbanized Ecosystem

Dates: Tuesday in April (Earth Month): April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Location: Oak Park Public Library (and other venues as noted)

Event Sponsors: Environmental and Energy Advisory Commission, Forestry

Commission, Michael Roy Iversen, Architect

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