Philadelphia Making History With Stormwater Management Program

With cities across the country seeking to find innovative and economical solutions to problems caused by combined sewer systems, could Philly's popular Green City, Clean Waters program be a model worth copying?
June 11, 2012, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Paul McRandle reports on the city's multifaceted effort "to address the city's storm-water runoff problem, improve streets, benefit the community, and create jobs." Launched in 2010, the Philadelphia Water Department's Green City, Clean Waters program consists of elements such as green roofs, porous paving, storm-water planters, rain gardens, and rain barrels that are intended to protect and enhance the city's watersheds in a more cost-effective way than investing in more "gray infrastructure."

McRandle notes the city's long history of water innovation, which includes "Ben Franklin's swim fins and glass armonica" and the more recent invention of permeable paving by the Franklin Institute in 1977.

With successes so far including the completion of 35 "green street blocks," the removal of 10,000 square feet of impervious paving, and the completion of sixteen green school projects, Green City, Clean Waters is well on its way to claiming its own place in the history books.

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Published on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 in National Geographic News
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