Greening our Urban Environment with Sustainable Streets: Presented by Gita Dev
Author: Alexx | Category: Environment | Date: 03-25-2020
Written by: Gita Dev, Co-Chair of the Sustainable Land Use Committee, Sierra Club Loma Prieta
Public streets are a huge public asset that must be better managed in an imaginative and integrated way. This program lays a path for Cities to explore how to better fund, design, build, manage and maintain streets to optimize performance on many dimensions.
Green streets provide a “roadmap” to our community, ecosystem, and economic future. It’s time to apply holistic, creative design eyes to our street system, our most important public assets and land, right under our feet in the middle of our cities. Public streets and their right of way convey and distribute to each home and destination:
- people in cars, transit, bikes, scooters and shoes
- goods and emergency services via truck and other vehicles
- energy and data: electricity, gas, fiber optics
- water – wastewater, storm water, drinking water
- soil, tree canopy, nature-based infrastructure
Sustainable Streets provide a connected green network of streets that are fully integrated into a “no net impact” system with the larger natural environment. This includes an integrated water system that follows the call to “slow it, spread it, sink it” and brings together the planning for storm water drainage, drought concerns, and flood prevention. No net climate change emissions means we reduce single occupancy vehicle use and promote walking, biking, transit or other shared low- or zero emission vehicles. Human-caused emissions are offset by a rich canopy of trees, grasslands, and chaparral in our open spaces surrounding the urban area and integrated throughout our urban areas – gardens but also greening our infrastructure especially our street grids. Air flows are slowed and softened by trees canopies, our air is cleaned by trees and our soil systems are protected by and enriched with natural compost.