“Our vision is to provide world-class stormwater drainage services enabling the sustainable development of Hong Kong. During the implementation of our projects, we take into consideration various factors, including ecology conservation,” stated Edward Tong. “Based on the sustainability principle, Blue-Green Infrastructure enhances the community’s living environment and maintains Hong Kong as a liveable city ‘for you and me’.”
OP-ED: Do Green Streets Actually Work for Stormwater Management? – reflections by Jonathan Page on eco-region differences
“Surprisingly, there are very few peer-reviewed research papers that have evaluated Green Streets on a stormwater control and treatment basis. There are a couple of factors related to the lack of available datasets,” wrote Jonathan Page. “One factor is the ‘newness’ of the Green Streets and Green Infrastructure movement; another contributing factor is the difficulty in monitoring and instrumenting Green Street projects for research.”
“Following the High Line’s evolution from abandoned railway to bustling park, urban planners have been brainstorming creative ways to develop more green space for New York City. This latest proposal is unique—instead of utilizing unused space, it would re-purpose one of the busiest streets in the borough,” wrote Michele Debczak. “A few recent changes to the area have already laid the foundation for the project.”
In 2015, the City of Los Angeles approved guidelines for street stormwater management and is working on an ordinance to require new green infrastructure for all public streets. Green streets will be critical to satisfy a Los Angeles mandate to cut its use of imported water by half by 2024, said Public Works Commissioner Heather Repenning. Every time it rains, she said, 40 percent of the water now heads out to sea — after picking up street pollutants in its path.
Business Case for Permeable Pavement in Cold Climates: “Insurance doesn’t cover overland flooding,” says University of Toronto Professor Jennifer Drake
“Our drainage infrastructure is undersized to provide the desired level of safety for our communities. Insurance doesn’t cover overland flooding which means homeowners cannot get coverage, ” said Jennifer Drake. Her comments were a lead into an overview of the function and benefits of permeable interlocking concrete pavement. Benefits include a reduction in the volume of rainwater which has to be handled by infrastructure systems.
Urban Forestry Strategy in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Promotes Benefits of Tree Canopy for Rainwater Management
“The term ‘tree-hugging mayor’ has gone from being pejorative (at the outset of my tenure in 2003) to being a term of endearment and even of great pride. The great mayors of America and the great cities of America are paying attention to their urban canopies. It’s the mayor and the city that’s not doing this kind of work is out of step,” said Mayor George Heartwell.
“Roads are the connective tissue of commerce and make economic growth possible. The US Green Building Council focuses on the vertical infrastructure and the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure focuses on horizontal infrastructure. Between the two organizations, we can offer a community a complete palette for making itself more sustainable,” says Bill Bertera.
“A Canadian landscape magazine once ranked Queens Quay among the world’s worst streets, declaring it ‘perhaps the ugliest urban waterfront boulevard of any major city’. A $110 million revitalization project has transformed a 1.5-km stretch into a model streetscape,” wrote Amy Dempsey.
“The Green Street was so positive. Once word got out and the residents understood what was being done, they were on board. Now, they remember the Green Street and want more. That’s why we have the burden of continuing. We need to go further,” says Vice Mayor Gant.
Hong Kong bridges can go green, just like the Garden Bridge proposed in London or the landmark High Line in New York, says Thomas Heatherwick, the British designer behind the planned garden in the sky over the River Thames.