In Portland, Oregon, annual rainfall exceeds a staggering 37 inches (the US average is about 32). When it rains, excess storm water collects dirt, soil, and other pollutants and then drains into the main water system. In 2017 it was estimated that Portland has spent a cumulative $370 million on infrastructure, such as pipes and sewer separations, to tackle the problem.
Then in 2007, the government launched the Green Streets project. The city planted beds of shrubs and trees on sidewalks, absorbing the runoff and limiting the flow of water to the drainage system. It marked a new, mixed approach to tackling their problems with excess rainfall; employing the power of nature itself alongside traditional, “grey” infrastructure.
Green Streets is an example of a “Nature-based Solution” — a policy that preserves, rehabilitates, protects and sustainably manages natural habitats, species, and ecosystems that have been damaged by human activity for environmental and societal benefits.
Read the original article on Apolitic’s website here.