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Chicago Hands LA Another Smackdown

Its not enough Chicago will likely steal the Olympics out from under us. Now they're moving in on what was once our bailiwick (even if we were mostly talk, not as much action): environmental sustainability. A reader from the United States Green Building Council, who runs the LEED green building program, tips us off to this sad state of affairs:

The US Green Building Council (USGBC), hosts an annual conference/event called Greenbuild. It is the biggest and best event for the sustainable building industry. For two years, it was scheduled to be in LA this November- that is until it was moved to Chicago last week. What got in the way? The LA Car Show.

Greenbuild was expecting upwards of 20,000 people to congregate for 5 days in downtown LA- a certifiable critical mass. The multi-million dollar event would have given a major to kick start to local sustainable builders, designers, and developers. Perhaps most importantly the conference would signify a major turnaround for LA planning and policy regarding sustainable development. It is my understanding that the USGBC was given the shaft because of scheduling conflicts with the LA Car Show, a the USGBC rep said, "...last week LA, Inc. notified us that in order to fulfill our needs, we would now need to move to a December date. We felt another date change would be detrimental to Greenbuild, and our ability to serve our members and our sponsors. A venue change for 2007 became our only option."

Mayor Daley of Chicago jumped on the situation and invited Greenbuild (its money, people, ideas and vision) to Chicago, stating that "Chicago is committed to becoming the most environmentally friendly city in the world."

This is exemplary of LA's backwards vision, as well as its failed paradigm of prioritizing cars. No politicians went to bat for sustainability over the car show. They give "green" a lot of lip service, but no real service.

Read the USGBC's kiss-off to LA in their press release here.