Green Streets Initiative
The Green Streets Initiative is a program developed by the city of Portland to implement sustainable management of stormwater runoff. Green streets also beautify inner-city neighborhoods and in the case of some bioswales, provide a safe and predicable pathway for bicycles and pedestrians.
The use of green streets meets regulatory code to manage runoff in a natural way. The use of plants and shrubs absorb runoff water and and treat toxics naturally before the water re-enters the watershed. By allowing the plants to treat the water and keep polluted runoff from the sewer system, the city helps prevents sewer backups, prevents basement floods, and improves air quality. Green Streets convert stormwater from a waste directed into a pipe, to a resource that replenishes groundwater supplies. They also create attractive streetscapes and urban green spaces, provide natural habitat, and help connect neighborhoods, schools, parks, and business districts.
The City of Portland is committed to green development practices and sustainable stormwater management. Green Streets are an innovative, effective way to restore watershed health. They protect water quality in rivers and streams, manage stormwater from impervious surfaces, and can be more cost efficient than new sewer pipes. Green Streets offer many benefits that sewer pipes can’t.
An EcoDistrict summit is just finishing up at Portland State University which was hosted by Portland Sustainability Institute. Their is a lot of buzz in Portland over these new found programs to further bolster Portland’s sustainable development and leadership in urban planning. Most of these summits or conferences going on are tailored for policy makers, however, it is for any interested parties. A nexus of sustainable and green visionaries are truly creating a hub the future.
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