Tourists and holidaymakers in Chicago may soon be able to connect to the Internet from anywhere in the city’s downtown core, if plans put forward by Mayor Rahm Emanuel go ahead.
The city’s energetic leader has announced a number of initiatives for Chicago’s future, one of which is turning the downtown area into a wireless network zone.
If successful, locals and tourists would be able to connect their smartphones, tablets, computers and other Wi-Fi enabled devices across the city and into the underground CTA subway system.
“We are the broadband backbone of America, right here,” he said. “That’s a physical fact, and I have to use that advantage to its maximum capacity, both in the city and in terms of connectivity with the rest of the world.”
Chicago’s population growth and rise in popularity with tourists has spurred city officials to undertake a number of infrastructure projects that will benefit both locals and visitors. Emanuel plans to build on the city’s major strengths – from the sparking waterfront to world class universities, unique architecture and strong communities.
“There are 100 cities in the world that drive the creativity, the economy, the world GDP, the culture – and Chicago’s one of those 100,” he said.
“The decisions we make here in the next two to three years will determine whether Chicago 20 or 30 years from now stays in that 100 club or veers off track. That’s true for the mayor of Shanghai, or London, or Paris, or New York – what we do now will determine our trajectory.”