Depave(ing) to Make Livable Cities

15 Oct

They don’t call it the concrete jungle for nothing. Miles of sidewalks and acres of asphalt typify many of our urban environments, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Depave, a Portland-based nonprofit, is leading a local effort to transform under-utilized asphalt into spaces for habitat restoration, urban farming, tree planting, native vegetation, and social gathering. Started as a guerilla movement, Depave grew to become a full-fledged organization. Its financial supporters include local businesses, government departments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The organization’s focus is on creating community green space that mitigates the harmful effects of polluted stormwater runoff. Since 2007, the organization has calculated that over 2.3 million gallons of stormwater was diverted to newly unearthed green spaces.

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