Philadelphia's Radical Green Infrastructure Plan Will Harness Rainwater, Fight Pollution (Video)
Philadelphia is taking some pretty major steps to reduce water pollution and green its streets and public spaces: The city's water department has signed an ambitious deal with state environmental officials to deploy a series of infrastructure innovations like green roofs, absorptive pavement, and expanded park space that will contain overflow and halt the spread of pollution. The plan will also have the distinct benefit of cleaning up Philadelphia's water, and generally making the city a more pleasant place to live, as the above video attests. It's being hailed as "the most comprehensive network of green infrastructure found in any U.S. city."In case you weren't keeping track, implementing smart design results in a) more efficient use of water b) less pollution, and c) a greener, more enjoyable city to stroll through. That, friends, is a good ol' win-win-win.
"Green infrastructure" is a collective term for smarter practices on land that stop water pollution, like green roofs, porous pavement, roadside plantings and increased park space. These methods stop rain where it falls, allowing it to filter back into the ground. That keeps it from turning into runoff that carries pollution, like oil and gas products, trash, and pet waste, from paved surfaces into the water ...
This all makes for not only cleaner waterways, but also, as Philadelphia recognizes, all-around healthier, more pleasant places to live. By accounting for a range of social, economic, and environmental benefits that come from adding green spaces to city neighborhoods, Philadelphia has projected that a green approach to reducing sewer overflows will yield more than two dollars in benefits for every dollar invested!
Which makes sense -- people like green spaces. It ain't rocket science. Just look at these shots and tell me which Philadelphia you'd rather live in. This one:
Or this one: