Chicago leads all other U.S. cities when it comes to the erosion of public space. If it's not nailed down, Mayor Emanuel wants to sell it off or lease it to private corporations.
Chicago has been the most aggressive city in the United States in the privatization of public infrastructure. Since 2004, the city has privatized the Chicago Skyway toll road, four downtown parking garages, and the city’s system of 36,000 parking meters, with only the recent financial crisis preventing the privatization of Midway Airport as well. -- Illinois PIRGThe privatization of Chicago’s parking meters – allowing a Morgan-Stanley backed set of investors to reap the profits for the next 75 years from the city’s parking meters – sparked public outrage as parking rates quadrupled overnight in some parts of the city, meters malfunctioned, and critics, including the city’s own Inspector General, argued that the city received hundreds of millions of dollars less for the meter system than it was worth. Morgan-Stanley's man in Chicago, greasing the deal with no public debate was Bill Daley, the mayor's brother and now Obama's Chief of Staff.
Next up on the auction block -- the city's public school system, bit by bit.