When it rains, our rivers take a beating. But that is changing. Like other American cities, Philadelphia is coping with a legacy of industrial pollution as well as dated infrastructure like our combined sewer-stormwater system and a lot of impervious surface.
For Philadelphia the choice was between reconstructing the sewer system or finding ways to manage stormwater before it hits the pipes. Lucky for us, the Philadelphia Water Department chose the latter.
In 25 years the goal is to turn 1/3 of Philadelphia's impermeable surfaces into green spaces that will absorb stormwater. Not only will this reduce the stress on our aging sewer and water treatment systems, but make Philadelphia a more attractive, healthy city as a whole. This infrastructure belongs everywhere, so it's also a way that the city's diverse neighborhoods will see improvement and investment.
Philadelphia's ambitious Green Cities, Clean Waters
plan is turning heads in the planning and environmental world for its green infrastructure systems, funding solutions, policy initiatives, and incentives. In the latest of these accolades, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) gave Philadelphia a perfect score for its green infrastructure work, the only city in America to get this high mark.