CASE FOR GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE: “Revitalizing the natural hydrological system can also aid the absorption of floodwaters,” notes Dr. John Jacob, Texas A&M University

Fort Point Channel in Boston, Mass., March 19, 2018. The city has plans to build a string of water-absorbent parks along the channel that would help mitigate the effects on low-lying areas of the city of more frequent flooding caused by rising sea levels. As outlined in its “Climate Ready Boston” report, the parks would double as appealing public spaces in times of non-flooding and would be connected by pedestrian bridges, Marshlands, and artificial islands. Source: Noble Ingram/The Christian Science Monitor

Build Water-Absorbent Green Spaces to Stem Rising Floodwaters

“American cities typically dredge rivers and build concrete walls along waterfronts to stem rising tides. But this so-called gray infrastructure can be unsightly, costly to maintain, and inflexible,” wrote Noble Ingram in an article published in the Christian Science Monitor.

“As a result, urban planners from Boston to Houston to Milwaukee are increasingly considering transforming valuable waterfront real estate into climate-adaptable natural greenways.

Houston’s Bayou Greenways 2020 Initiative

“In Houston, even before hurricane Harvey’s record rainfalls, the city regularly saw its system of bayous overflow, says John Jacob, director of the Texas Coastal Watershed Program at Texas A&M University.

“But a new effort seeks to restore some of the city’s natural waterfront. The Bayou Greenways 2020 initiative has purchased more than 3,000 acres of land to develop linear parks. The goal is to bring usable green space back into the heart of Houston. Revitalizing the region’s natural hydrological system can also aid the absorption of floodwaters, notes Jacob. And building these parks challenges the notion that urban development and nature are incompatible.”

To Learn More:

To read the complete story as published in the Christian Science Monitor, download a copy of As flooding frequency increases, more US cities opt for green infrastructure