This limited series podcast is made up of nine episodes discussing topics found in the City of Elgin, Illinois' Sustainability Action Plan: Waste and Recycling, Alternative Energy, Economic Development, Transportation and Mobility, Green Building and Energy Conservation, Green Infrastructure, Healthy Living and Community Education, Urban Design and Water Resources. This series will give you insight into what the City has accomplished, the challenges it faces and future implementation of projects and initiatives. Each episode will feature a member of Elgin's Sustainability Commission and/or its workgroups, who help recommend policies to city council and educate the community on all things sustainability.
009 - What's Next?
Host Franklin Ramirez and guest Elgin Sustainability Commission Chair Tia Aagesen wrap up the podcast series, sharing takeaways and what we’ve learned throughout the previous eight episodes. Education is an important part of individual accountability and action. Whether it is recognizing what packaging can be recycled or how we get water to our home faucet, learning about these topics through discussion can provide valuable insight that impacts our behaviors. Tune in to hear Franklin and Tia discuss sustainability, roles of individuals and government and more.
008 - Water
Host Franklin Ramirez discusses water as a resource with Elgin Mayor David Kaptain. Kaptain retired after a career with the Fox River Water Reclamation District (FRWRD) and currently serves as chairman of the Northwest Water Alliance. How can individuals conserve water? What are the impacts of communities using the Fox River as a water source? What can we do to help future generations? What would it mean for Elgin to remove the Kimball Street dam? Tune in to hear Franklin and Mayor Kaptain discuss these and other considerations when it comes to this most important natural resource.
007 - Urban Design
Host Franklin Ramirez discusses urban design with Elgin Sustainability Commissioner Tom Armstrong. Tom, a retired city planner, now holds many volunteer positions, including serving on the downtown Elgin design committee. When looking at a city’s blueprint and how it changes overtime, how do we design transportation systems and neighborhoods, and how are schools and parks are distributed throughout town? Elgin, now 38 square miles, has developed and grown a lot over the years, from early urban neighborhoods with a grid design to more recent suburban patterns with things more spread apart. What are characteristics of a great neighborhood? What will Elgin look like years from now? Tune in to hear Franklin and Tom discuss the many considerations of designing a community.
006 - Green Building Technology and Energy Conservation
Host Franklin Ramirez discusses Green Building and Energy Conservation with Elgin Sustainabilty Commissioner Laura Kenney. Laura is also an urban planning and policy graduate student at Northern Illinois University, focusing on environmental planning. What does it mean for a home or building to be designed, built and maintained with “LEED” certification? How does one make energy saving renovations to one’s home or business? Elgin is retrofitting all of its public street lighting fixtures with LED lights. What does that mean for the City of Elgin? Tune in to hear Laura and Franklin discuss the importance of planning long-term for home and building energy use. *Note: Given the coronavirus situation, this episode was recorded with Laura as a call-in participant.
005 - Healthy Living and Community Education
Host Franklin Ramirez discusses Healthy Living and Community Education with Kendra Kroiss. Kendra has been an active volunteer for special Sustainability Commission projects, most recently serving as chair of the Elgin Earth Month committee. Kendra and Franklin discuss the importance of maintaining physical, social and emotional health, which in turn impacts the Earth’s health. Tune in to hear Franklin and Kendra discuss meditation, daily diet choices and more. *Note: Given the coronavirus situation, this episode was recorded with Kendra as a call-in participant.
004 - Transportation
Host Franklin Ramirez discusses transportation and mobility with Elgin Sustainability Commissioner Tom Armstrong. Tom, a former city planner, also leads two work groups in Elgin: 1) Green Infrastructure and 2) Transportation and Mobility. Elgin’s geographic location and robust transportation options provide great regional connectivity. In addition, bicycling is growing as an important transportation option. How is Elgin embracing that? What is an “electric-assist” bike? Will Elgin every see “shared vehicles” (different from ride share)? Will all cars be electric someday? Tune in to hear Franklin and Tom discuss these topics and more.
Very informative and very well done.
It’s nice to see a community podcast! Hello from Elgin!