The New York Times this morning reports that Chicago officials have concluded that global warming will make our weather feel like Baton Rouge before the end of the century.

And the paper says Evanston’s big neighbor to the south is way out in front of most communities in adapting to that expected warmer future

Chicago, the Times says, has started planting trees more adapted to southern climates.

Because the climate change is expected to bring more and heavier rainfall in most seasons, it’s changed construction rules to encourage use of permeable paving and large sidewalk planter beds designed to reduce storm water runoff.

It’s also trying to reduce the total amount of paving in the city to reduce heat buildup.

Unlike Chicago, Evanston hasn’t yet banned planting the state tree of Illinois, the white oak, but it has included more southern species, like swamp oaks and sweet gum trees on its approved species list.

While Chicago has rebuilt 150 alleys with permeable pavers — blocks with gaps that let most water filter through, Evanston, using a different technology called porous concrete, has so far done just one alley.

Evanston has seen permeable pavers used in several private construction projects in recent years.

Original story

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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