In November 2019, NIRPC will be working with Region stakeholders on updating this policy to include recommended environmental enhancements to these road projects. Also known as “Green Streets,” these project additions would improve the quality of stormwater runoff by allowing vegetation to naturally filter and cycle water from impervious surfaces. This in turn slows the flow rate of water as it works through the earth, easing the burden on sewer systems and aquatic environments.
Additional benefits include improving air quality with increasing the urban forest by planting street trees, shrubbery and perennials. This in turn reduces the urban heat island effect by cooling the environment. Furthermore, the introduction of vegetation creates an opportunity for habitat through corridors for wildlife species to live and breed.
NIRPC intends to blend both Complete Streets and Green Streets concepts into a unified approach called “Living Streets.” Staff will be working closely with all topical committees in October as we introduce this exciting new concept to our Region. Please refer to this newsletter about dates and times of these meetings.