Did you know that green infrastructure like the bioretention area that you are working on not only saves and improves the quality of water in your neighborhood but also helps our urban environment to adapt to climate change, avoid greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, and captures CO2? Before we built the sewers, roads, buildings, bridges, dams, etc. that now make up our cities, nature had built-in mechanisms to deal with erosion, carbon dioxide, storms, etc.. When we build cities, we often get rid of the wetlands, trees, and plant growth that nature created to deal with these negative things. The goal of creating green infrastructure, like the one that you are monitoring, is largely about rebuilding these natural mechanisms trying to mimic the nature as much we can in order to take advantage of natural processes like infiltration and evapotranspiration. In this way we are literally making the nature work to us ( in a good sense) and avoiding emission of billions of tons of GHG that would be released to the atmosphere to build additional concrete infrastructure necessary to capture, conduct, storage and treat the stormwater that greenstreets can take care of. Also, instead to spend lots of money in energy bills we can just plant trees in our garden or having green roof in our buildings so the plants through their shading effects and evapotranspiration function, can cool our houses. So, what this can mean for you? Well, besides having your neighborhood more beautiful, healthier, cleaner it is also saving you money!
My name is Raquel Sousa and I am a graduate student in Civil Engineering at Drexel University.