Chicago: The Global City

Image: ShutterRunner.com (CC by/nc)

It may be America’s most interesting city, but not for the usual clichés. Rather, Chicago today is part beautiful and part bleak, created for one era and coping with another, an experiment in civic transformation. (Image: ShutterRunner.com CC by/nc)

Culture in a City of Neighborhoods

The Fire Arts Center is a nonprofit school for sculpture. (Image courtesy SIFC Chicago)

Chicago doesn’t have an arts district. The city’s creativity springs from, and reveals itself in, all of its many communities. Thus each neighborhood is, or aspires to be, an arts district of its own. (Image: courtesy Sixty Inches from Center)

The Fresh Coast

(Image: Heather Phillips CC by/nc/sa)

Founded on the shores of the Great Lakes, which 18th-century French explorers called the “sweetwater seas,” Chicago recognized early the value of its access to the world’s largest freshwater system. (Image: Heather Phillips CC by/nc/sa)

Chicago Architecture

The Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) was the tallest building the world until 1998. (Image: Justin Kern CC by/sa/nc)

Perhaps more than any other American city, Chicago has used architecture to express its identity and assert itself – and, when need be, reassert itself – on the world stage. (Image: Justin Kern CC by/sa/nc)

Empowering Women

BP-women-ratner3

There’s no shortage of Chicago women making their mark on the global scene. But the women most likely to determine Chicago’s future as a global power are the ones you’ve never heard of. (Image: © Paul Natkin via Open Books)

The Heart of Black America

Harold Washington

Harlem may be lauded as the symbolic capital of black America, but Chicago is the heart. (Image: Marc PoKempner ©)

Obama’s Chicago

President Obama visits a Ford plant in Chicago. Image: Pete Sousa (White House)

Barack Obama’s choice of Chicago as his political and psychic home seems brilliant in retrospect. Yet in many ways, it was an unlikely launching pad for America’s first black president.

Global Food Security

(Image: haglundc CC by/nc)

While the number of small organic farms is growing, they provide less than one percent of the United States food supply. The larger trend is for American farms to get bigger, and most food is grown on big, highly-specialized farms; these are the farms the feed the world. But large-scale farming is not sustainable as long as it relies on chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers that damage the land and pollute the water.

The Birthplace of Community Organizing

A 2006 rally for immigrant rights was Chicago's largest ever. The march, which drew between 250,000 and 500,000 people was a peaceful and effective demonstration of political power. (Image:  jvoves CC-by-nc-sa)

Chicago is considered the birthplace of community organizing; this is where Saul Alinsky founded the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council in 1939 and the Industrial Areas Foundation in 1940, and where Barack Obama was trained in that tradition forty years later. (Image: jvoves CC-by-nc-sa)

Local Afghans’ Views on War

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Shawn Meno stands guard outside a meeting between reconstruction officials and members of a local Kuchi tribe residing in Bawka District in Farah province, Afghanistan, June 12, 2010 (Image: Rylan K. Albright / US Army)

As NATO ponders its Afghanistan legacy and future, so, too, do many of the Afghans who have made Chicago their new home.

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