(Green Infrastructure) Toolbox
The Eco-Boulevard team recently developed a Toolbox to catalog green infrastructure techniques to capture and biologically clean stormwater before it has a chance to enter the Chicago sewer system. Typical green infrastructure Eco-Boulevards consists of vegetated native landscape swales, swells, channels and fields that hold water for a specific period of time in order to naturally remove contaminants that would otherwise pollute a healthy ecosystem. Benefits of green infrastructure include stormwater harvesting for landscape and species health, and surface water and aquifer recharge. Eco-Boulevards are often part of a comprehensive plan to reduce reliance on conventional grey infrastructure systems, thereby reducing cumulative urban heat island effects, and increasing bio-diversity and filtration of ground/air pollutants. Eco-Boulevards also provide vital water resources for Chicago's natural inhabitants, which are valid users of "our" ecosystem, and are often ignored even though their well-being underlies the health of the entire Great Lakes region. The team focused on six roadways currently in preliminary design and engineering phases of re-development: Homer Street, North Avenue, Wentworth Avenue, Ogden Avenue, State Street and Torrence Avenue.