CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced a new plan to expand recreational opportunities on the city’s iconic Riverwalk and Lakefront.

Emanuel said Monday that the city has purchased 985 acres (399 hectares) of parks and developed 5.5 miles (8.9 kilometers) of waterfront access since 2011. The development is part of the mayor’s bid to make Chicago a “two waterfront city.”

Chicago ultimately hopes to expand access to natural areas and offer more recreational opportunities. Plans include adding more nature trails and play areas. Emanuel also wants to add more amenities to existing open spaces, including a new boardwalk at North Avenue Beach.

Emanuel says the initiative is part of his “Building on Burnham” plan referencing architect Daniel Burnham, who introduced ambitious plans for the city’s waterfront nearly a century ago.

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