Philadelphia is Leading Green Infrastructure

January 5, 2010 at 1:46 pm Leave a comment

It may surprise most of you to know that the sewer systems in 772 US cities are set up so that they collect wastewater and storm runoff in the same pipes. When there is an excess of storm water, the system is designed to overflow into the rivers and streams so that the treatment plants are not overwhelmed. This design is polluting our earth with our own waste, and leads to extensive natural resource deterioration. The cost to fix this problem is prohibitive for most cities, especially in these difficult economic times.

The city of Philadelphia is taking a leading role in going green by proposing a plan where they will invest $1.6 billion over the next 20 years to fix this specific problem. City officials believe that the creation of green infrastructure, even though it is costly, will benefit the city in many ways. Including:

  • Making it a more attractive place for people to live and work
  • Making it a healthier place to live
  • Creating green jobs
  • Raising property values
  • Taking pollution out of the air and water

This mindset illustrates the culture shift that must take place all over the world in order to improve Earth for future generations.

The proposed plans include:

  • Digging up streets, parking lots, and sidewalks and replacing them with water-absorbing porous pavement, street-edge gardens, and trees
  • Green roofs
  • Rain barrels
  • Water-conserving measures for new and existing homes and buildings

The changes in the Philadelphia bureaucratic system that are necessary to effectively implement this vision are the main concern for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in their analysis of the project. One way the city is properly incentivizing developers to implement green infrastructure is by expediting their permit reviews. The entire proposal is pending review by the EPA. While there are still details to be worked out, the city of Philadelphia is taking a leading role in making the world a better place.


Entry filed under: Green Building. Tags: , , .

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Michael Lemons

I will secure sustainability for your business with strategic CSR (corporate social responsibility) by making social impact integral to the unique value proposition of the company.

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