Going Green

Monday, December 3, 2007

Green Alleys?

Pavement, concrete, buildings -- all seal the land surface to water. This initiative provides a way to recover some of that water before it turns into runoff.

Chicago’s Alleys Turning Green

A new initiative will help make Chicago's 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers) of alleyways more sustainable. The miniature streets behind homes and buildings, used mainly for garbage collection and parking access, keep main roads cleaner and less congested but are prone to flooding. The city’s innovative Green Alley Program promotes improved construction techniques and materials that can improve drainage, reduce runoff, and relieve strain on the city’s aging sewer system.

Model "green" alleyways in Chicago have been re-surfaced with permeable or porous pavement, a relatively new technology that allows water to seep through asphalt, concrete, stone, or plastic. After filtering through a...(complete article here).

While we're going green, let's truly make it green with some plants. How about adding something green and growing to the alleys as well. They would help to capture carbon, improve air quality, and provide aesthetic relief to the eye. Even something as small as tub-grown tomatoes or other fruits and vegetables would be a positive.

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