Depaving to Mitigate Stormwater Runoff

Depaving PortlandIn the engineering and municipal communities, we spend a lot of effort to treat proposed impervious surfaces, and now with the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, we will spend even more effort trying to find ways to treat existing impervious areas. Let’s not lose sight of the easiest way to improve stormwater quality; reduce pavement. In the new projects we design we need to cast a critical eye on pavement to make sure that it is needed and serves a purpose. This applies to road and sidewalk widths, parking stall sizes and circulation, and those small areas that are easier to pave than to do anything else with. We need to get this message out: that every square foot of impervious has an impact that needs to be mitigated.

This article from the Christian Science Monitor tells how one non-profit group in Orgeon is making an impact by removing unnecessary pavement from urban areas and creating new green spaces that enhance communities and improve stormwater management.