Throughout Chicago’s history, urbanization has led to an influx of people migrating from the rural to urban environment, due to the increased economic opportunity in the city. With this influx of population, the role and capacity of Chicago to provide sustainable transportation becomes essential. During the mid 1800s Chicago experienced the largest population growth in the world, starting with 4,000 inhabitants and growing to over 90,000 inhabitants by the end of the century. Since then, Chicago has reached a more stable population of 2.6 million people today. The transportation history of Chicago is linked to this population growth and has significantly shaped the city into its current social and ecological state (Cronon 1992, 97).

Paper prepared for the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar/Geography Capstone.

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Unpublished Paper

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