Street Construction For Environmental Processes
Free (open access)
481 - 488
B. K. Ferguson
In urban areas where natural environmental processes are allowed to occur, they contribute to air and water quality, stable water supply, flood moderation, biodiversity, and reduced demand on energy producers and sewer collection systems. Urban landscape technologies developed in recent years make a radical combination of environmental and human functions possible in the streets of dense urban districts. This paper reviews their construction, roles, and performance, and illustrates their application in urban design. Beneath trafficked surfaces, structural soils or deck-like bridging structures maintain viable tree rooting space, enabling street trees to grow to the size necessary to provide effective shade, cooling, biodiversity, and air quality. Permeable pavements of concrete, open-jointed blocks, and other materials open vehicular and pedestrian surfaces to air and water, allowing urban soils to absorb rainwater, reduce runoff, restore water quality, recharge regional aquifers, and activate tree rooting zones. Where urban space permits, open rain gardens use soil to combine water restoration and growth of living things. Contemporary urban design analyses complete the realization of a street’s multiple roles by identifying and integrating spaces for these technologies in the midst of dense urban construction. Monitoring has confirmed environmental performance, while industry innovations and standards continue to evolve. Participation in natural processes is a relatively new concept for cities, which in the past have been considered sacrifices of local environment for human welfare. In the kind of street that can be constructed today, there need not be antagonism between environmental processes and human welfare. Keywords: construction, design, environment, landscape, streets.
construction, design, environment, landscape, streets.