Anders Bekeken

100 Places To Remember: Chicago Illinois, USA

Geschreven op 18-4-2010 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Natuur Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

100places to rememberChicago! Its the Pulse of America. Chicago has been the Midwests centre of transportation, industry, finance and entertainment ever since it was founded in the 1830s on the south-eastern shore of the great Lake Michigan, close to the Mississippi River. As French actress Sarah Bernhardt said: Chicago! Its the pulse of America.

Today, it is the third most populous city in the USA. More than 9.5 million people live in the Chicago metropolitan area, popularly known as Chicagoland. It is intersected by the Chicago River, which runs through the downtown area, its banks lined with modern architecture and futuristic tower blocks.

Known as a Mecca of music, film, theatre and culture, Chicago is a melting pot of the descendants of immigrants of every imaginable origin. Its most famous son is US president Barack Obama, but others include the notorious gangster, Al Capone. Chicago attracts 45 million tourists a year.

Chicago is also an extremely important transport hub, with a network of 97 km of underground freight railways encompassing most of the downtown area, and freeways connecting it with other cities in the Midwest.

In the last 30 years, the city has seen an average temperature rise of 1.5°C. In 1995, a severe heatwave killed 700 Chicagoans. In 1986, 1996 and 2008, it experienced severe flooding, with torrential rain shutting down highways and railroads, causing damage to streets and bridges and flooding properties in much of Chicagoland.

Throughout the rest of the 21st century, Chicago could experience a gradual, dramatic increase in heatwaves and flooding due to global warming. Prolonged summer droughts and heavy rainfall would have a grave effect on its infrastructure and transport system.

An increase in hot summer days with temperatures rising above 43°C, combined with unpredictable heavy rain and flooding, could cause more heat-related health problems and damage Chicagos tourism industry. By the end of the century, the climate in Chicago could be similar to that of southern states like Texas and Alabama today.

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