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A "Quiet Revolution": Solving our urban problems with nature

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native plants in the South WaterfrontLast week, our friends from Climate Solutions rolled out their new report, Natural Infrastructure: A Climate-Smart Solution. The event included a tour of some of Portland's green infrastructure in the South Waterfront. 

Sustainable Business Oregon just posted some follow up from the event . Many of the highlights in the tour are things Portland has done to protect our rivers and streams by managing stormwater naturally.  Runoff from streets and other hard surfaces can carry pollutants into our water, but Environmental Services continues to invest in a cleaner Willamette River and local streams by maintaining our aging sewer infrastructure and adding new natural features, like green streets

Climate Solutions points out that when we use natural solutions, we get extra benefits, like reducing carbon pollution in the atmosphere.  For example, all of the ecoroofs that Portland is building through the Ecoroof Program will soon be managing about nine million gallons of stormwater annually.  They'll also be capturing more than five tons of CO2 every year. 

We particularly liked this thought from Rhys Roth, the outgoing Director of Strategic Innovation and Climate Solutions:

"A quiet revolution is taking shape, with the Northwest one of the leaders, which uses natural elements—plants, trees, soils—to complement our ‘hard’ infrastructure in order to save money, with rich assortments of co-benefits in tow. Among the co-benefits: less carbon pollution in the air and greater resilience to changing climate..."

Find more info about the event on the Climate Solutions website: http://climatesolutions.org/cs-journal/capturing-carbon-saving-money-enhancing-regional-communities 

Read the original press release from the event here.

 

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