LEEDing the way? Rendering of Albion Residential's proposal for an 18-story at Lake Street and Forest Avenue. | Image provided by Albion Residential

I was pleased to read the recent article titled, “Oak Park poised to advance green initiatives,” even though the how of it is still undecided, the issues are complex, and the focus is primarily on internal changes the village can directly control. 

Then, only an hour later, I went to hear architect and author Doug Farr speak at the Oak Park Public Library where he discussed his new book Sustainable Urbanism. His talk was broad-ranging, but along the way he mentioned the energy-inefficiency and negative environmental impacts of the multi-story and multi-unit “glass box” buildings that surround us more and more in urban spaces. 

Is there a disconnect between the village’s interest in green initiatives and the designs it has approved in its partnerships with the private developers who are currently remodeling Oak Park? It’s too late for the crop of buildings that are finished or currently under construction, but how about requiring LEED certification for future large projects? 

Green initiatives of that nature might potentially dwarf the energy saved by installing LED streetlights and solar panels.

Susan Messer 

Oak Park 

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