To Tackle Rainwater Runoff, Cities in the United States Turn to Green Infrastructure Initiatives




Projects demonstrate a realization that nature is often very good at things we humans find hard to accomplish

“Urban stormwater runoff is a serious problem, overloading sewage treatment plants and polluting waterways. Now, various U.S. cities are creating innovative green infrastructure — such as rain gardens and roadside plantings — that mimics the way nature collects and cleanses water,” writes Dave Levitan in an online article posted on Yale 360 Environment.

“The green infrastructure approach says, ‘Let’s get the water out of those sewer systems in the first place before it has a chance to convey all that pollution into our waterways,’” he quotes Larry Levine, a senior attorney in the Natural Resource Defense Council’s water program.

“And the way to do that is to put back into our built environment features that mimic the way nature handles rainwater in the natural water cycle. It doesn’t necessarily mean replacing a paved street with a park, but it means putting enough green space into the design of your roadway that you can capture runoff from that paved space,” says Levine.

To Learn More: The article describes green infrastructure initiatives in major American cities on the east and west coasts. To download the complete article, click on To Tackle Runoff, Cities Turn to Green Initiatives.


About Dave Levitan:

Dave Levitan is a freelance journalist based in Philadelphia who writes about energy, the environment, and health. His articles have been published by Reuters, SolveClimate, IEEE Spectrum, and Psychology Today. In previous articles for Yale Environment 360, he has written about the potential of self-driving cars and about vehicle-to-grid technology involving electric cars.

Yale Environment 360 is a publication of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.


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