SPRINGFIELD – "Chicago: City of the Big Shoulders," a documentary about the environmental rebirth and transformation of Chicago's urban landscape, will be shown in Brookens Auditorium at the University of Illinois at Springfield on Thursday, April 12.
A reception will precede the screening at 6 p.m. in MacDonald Lounge, located near the auditorium on the lower level of Brookens Library. The film will begin at 7 p.m., and a question-and-answer session with producer Harry Wiland will follow at 8 p.m. The reception, film, and discussion session are all free and open to the public.
Co-sponsors include UIS student group Students Allied for a Greener Earth, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the City of Springfield Division of Waste and Recycling, and Springfield Green.
"Chicago: City of the Big Shoulders" is part of "Edens Lost & Found," a four-part PBS series that highlights practical solutions to improving the environment and quality of life in American cities. Other segments focus on Seattle, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.
Hosted by NPR's Scott Simon, the Chicago episode details efforts such as Mayor Richard Daley's Green Crusade, which has committed major resources to develop a holistic approach to urban ecology – for example "green" rooftops on the city's skyscrapers that absorb rainfall, provide wildlife habitats, and are up to 70 degrees cooler than tar rooftops.
Overall, the series examines environmental, economic, and social issues that confront American cities, showcasing extraordinary community activists as well as forward-thinking professionals who offer best-practice solutions to transforming the urban environment at a time when environmentalism isn't always understood as an urban priority.
UIS will observe Earth Week 2007 (April 16-20) with two presentations: "Politics, Women, and Environmental Justice," a talk by environmental activist Winona LaDuke, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, in the Studio Theatre, located on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center, and a panel discussion on "The Future of Renewable Energy in Illinois" at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 19, in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library.