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Featured Theme: Chicago and the Great Lakes Region 

The geography of Chicago is fundamentally intertwined with that of the Great Lakes. Chicago was established because it was the site of portage that historically enabled transportation through the Great Lakes and into the Mississippi River watershed. As Chicago grew, raw materials from throughout the Midwest built the city and fueled its industries. Today, Chicago serves as a major transportation and logistical hub for the Great Lakes region. This brings opportunities and challenges. According to the EPA, the Great Lakes comprise 21% of the world's supply of surface fresh water and with this come issues associated with resource management, pollution, recreational, and industrial usage. Chicago, like other cities in the Great Lakes region, experiences income inequality, racism, housing segregation and the complex challenges of developing urban policies that integrate sustainable development with the provision of jobs, housing and opportunities for all.

Topics include but are not limited to:
Race and the City
Great Lakes Ecosystems
Changing demographics and urban/suburban relations
Sustainable Rural Landscapes
Sustainable Cities and Urban Development
Changing Agricultural Landscapes
Urban Agriculture and Food Systems
Neoliberal Urban Policy and Practice
The Postindustrial City
Water Management
Transportation and Mobility

Session numbers in this theme: 1661, 3225, 3425, 3426, 3525, 3526, 3625, 3626