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AUGUST 31, 2019




Boston’s Linear Park

A linear park is a park in an urban or suburban setting that is substantially longer than it
is wide, spread over a few city blocks, and often snake through a city’s heart – giving
dwellers a pleasant respite from the surrounding hustle. They often serve as a link in a
city’s plan for alternative transportation, or include overlooks, playgrounds, host arts and
crafts fairs, or offer a place to picnic in nice weather.

Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway is all of that, and more.

Set in the city’s heart, it is essentially a roof garden atop a highway tunnel. It originated
from the city’s much talked about “Big Dig,” a massive construction project that relocated
an elevated highway and built underground tunnels instead. The 1.5-mile Greenway
opened in 2008 and includes trees, plants, lawns, water features in the summer, and one
of the largest free public Wi-Fi networks in the city.

It caters not just to office goers looking for a place to sit down for lunch (it has an enviable
collection of food trucks), but also children – with a carousel and zip lines, and hosts an
array of music, food, and art events throughout the year.
Portland’s Rain Gardens

A rain garden is a shallow depression that collects rainwater and is often planted with
native plants. They can blend with your existing landscape, and design can be formal or
informal. They are shallow, vegetated basins that collect and absorb runoff from rooftops,
sidewalks, and streets. This practice mimics natural hydrology by infiltrating, evaporating
and transpiring stormwater runoff.

Portland has been a pioneer in installing such basins. In 1991, the city began a $1.4-
billion combined sewer overflow (CSO) program to prevent sewage overflows during
heavy rains that commonly occurs in the Willamette River and northern Columbia basins.

The CSO program was fully funded by ratepayers and completed in 2011. The project
comprised construction of sumps and big pipes and tunnels underground to expand the
system’s capacity. Homeowners also took action by disconnecting downspouts and
letting rain gardens absorb storm-water on their private property.

Today, bigger cities such as Philadelphia, Washington DC, and New York City are
following Portland’s example by building rain gardens that collect storm water and
effectively combat flooding and contamination by runoff into its lakes and river
LA’s Green Street

The City of Los Angeles invites you to provide input on the Van Nuys-Pacoima
Neighborhood Green Street Project, which will enhance the water quality of LA's rivers
and ocean, increase groundwater recharge in the San Fernando Groundwater Basin
and alleviate nuisance flooding.

From having no sidewalks, street lights or even storm drains leading to frequent
flooding, the street now has become a showcase of environmental friendly features –
thanks to a federal bureau, a state agency, handful of city agencies and nonprofit

With the co-operation of all 24 homes on the street block who donated a portion of their
front yard, the street got new curving sidewalks, solar street lamps and gutters with curb
breaks feeding rainwater from the street into bioswales.

The bioswales could capture majority of rain water during storms – water that would
otherwise cause flooding or be diverted to LA’s storm drain system out to the Pacific
Ocean instead of being collected in the underground aquifer.
New York City’s High Line

The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long (2.33 km) elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail
created on a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan in
New York City. The High Line's design is a collaboration between James Corner Field
Operations (Project Lead), Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf.

It used to be a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan.
Because of declining use, the freight line was virtually abandoned in the 1980s.

Repurposing this piece of land began in 2006, with the first phase opening in 2009 and
the final in 2014. The project has kick-started real estate development in adjacent
neighborhoods and boosted property prices along the route.

Today, the High Line is a major city attraction.

It features wildflowers, greenery and outdoor art installations in addition to awesome

views of New York’s skyline. Running a span of more than 15 city blocks, it covers the
length from Hudson Yards to the northern edge of Chelsea with several points along the
way to get in and out of the park. Restaurants and cafes have sprung up along the route
to cater to park goers.
Chicago’s Green Roofs
The Chicago City Hall green roof helps cool the building and minimize water run-off.
See more green science pictures. An aerial view of most urban areas shows swathes of
asphalt, black tar and gravel-ballasted rooftops. Heat radiates off of the dark roofs, and
water rushes over the hard, hopefully impermeable surfaces.

It has more than 500 green roofs, covering 5.56 million square feet. They sit atop its City
Hall, Target and Apple stores, even a McDonalds burger joint. Buoyed by the city’s Green
Roof Grant Program, they have sprung up all across the city.

Green roofs are covered with vegetation that enable rainfall infiltration and
evapotranspiration of stored water. They are particularly cost-effective in dense urban
areas such as Chicago where land values are high, including on large industrial or office
buildings, where stormwater management costs are likely to be high. Green roofs also
cool down buildings during peak summer months, saving on energy costs.

For example, Chicago began construction of a 38,800 square foot green roof atop its City
Hall in April 2000. It was completed at the end of 2001 at a cost $2.5 million, funded by a
settlement with ComEd. According to estimates, the green roof saves $5,000 a year on
utility bills.