Holland, Michigan's Heated Sidewalks Bring People Together

A small town in Michigan created a network of underground pipes to divert waste heat from its power plant to downtown streets and sidewalks. Today, the community benefits from sidewalks that remain clear and dry no matter how cold it gets.
April 6, 2011, 1pm PDT | Victor Negrete
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Sally Augustin, of Metropolis Magazine, explains how the underground pipes of Holland serve to bring the community together:

"A gas-powered hearth rises up from the sidewalk near the corner of 8th Street. On cold days, people gather around it, just as they do around a fireplace. These al fresco get-togethers build community spirit – just as the downtown promenades have been doing for years.

The low walls built up around the fireplace invite people [to] sit, stay, and chat. I watch as my neighbors relax into the moment, catch each others eyes and have real conversations-that much-coveted face-time we all long for today."

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Published on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 in Metropolis Magazine
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