Deep Roots

Biomimicry Chicago’s “Deep Roots” Initiative seeks to catalyze a collaborative process that brings together a diverse interdisciplinary group of stakeholders of the built environment to collectively work toward a new paradigm for the Chicago region. By understanding and learning from our native ecosystems, we can begin to create so-called “grey infrastructure” that performs as well as our native ecosystems, delivering on the functions needed for a restorative, sustainable and resilient future. The ultimate goal of this work is to create a science-based vision, process and suite of tools that educate and empower everyone in our region to learn from nature to solve the challenges we face. To accomplish this goal we aim to:


draw upon our deep cultural and ecological roots to (re)connect communities and their inhabitants with native ecologies and with each other


collaborate to define our dependence upon and participation in sustaining resilient ecosystem functions for a sustainable future


measure local ecosystem services in order to compare and contrast the performance of our built environment with our native ecosystems as they address the same challenges


develop a comprehensive approach that identifies existing tools as well as initiates development of new tools where necessary to enable stakeholders of the built environment to work towards our shared vision and science-based goals

To lay the foundation for this shift, we seek to collaborate with multidisciplinary teams (with people like you!) to develop publicly accessible information and tools to inform our collective decision making and measure the success of our designs. Our goal is to bring in as diverse a group as possible - all perspectives are needed and valued! Architects, designers, engineers (civil, industrial...all kinds!), developers, municipal workers, biologists, landscape architects, students and educators, planners, economists, and more! If you would like to be a part of this initiative, either as an organization or as an individual, please contact us. Stay up to date on our current activities related to this initiative including our Deep Roots Workshop April 21, 2017.

We look forward to learning from you and co-creating a vision of a regenerative future!

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