NYC Doubles Curbside Rain Gardens in Green Infrastructure Program

Sourced from SmartCitiesDive

The city's expansion of curbside rain gardens is part of a broad push to fight climate change, which has included bold actions like a citywide Green New Deal, the sweeping Climate Mobilization Act and a plan to improve the resiliency of Lower Manhattan, which is prone to flooding from the Hudson River.

One of the effects of climate change that cities like New York must deal with is extreme rainfall, so the expansion of rain gardens should help absorb even more rainwater and prevent both flooding and sewer overflows, which can mean contamination of the water supply. That also is brought into sharp focus by the number of impervious surfaces like roads, sidewalks and tall buildings, so the more help available, the better.

"With more extreme precipitation, we do need more surfaces that will absorb and soak up and filter that stormwater," Emily Nobel Maxwell, cities program director at charitable environmental organization The Nature Conservancy, told Smart Cities Dive. "Curbside rain gardens play a really important role in that."

Curbside rain gardens also help beautify city streets, which can help improve mental and physical health of residents and visitors. That livability aspect has been studied in Louisville, KY, where researchers analyzed the links between human health and urban green space.

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