grass through bricks with holes, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Bradley Gordon’s photostream

On Wednesday, March 9, the Clean Rivers Campaign, Phipps Conservatory, and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy will hold a public presentation, “Beyond Tunnel Vision: Good Jobs & Green Communities – Lessons from Kansas City.” In 2010, Kansas City became the first city in the nation to enter into a federal consent decree incorporating green infrastructure solutions to reduce combined sewer overflows. The presentation will focus on Kansas City’s green-first, green-preferred approach and the potential these concepts have in Pittsburgh.


Installed Green Infrastructure, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Chris Hamby’s photostream

As you may have heard, our local leaders want to go the green route with this once-in-a-lifetime public investment rather than the expensive tunnel way which would treat the symptoms instead of the cause. From the Tribune-Review:

Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and sewer authority officials said Thursday they want to put off plans to build tunnels that would keep billions of gallons of sewage out of the rivers until they exhaust other options.

Mayor Bill Peduto and county Executive Rich Fitzgerald asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a 10-year window to repair infrastructure and implement “green” projects such as rain barrels, porous pavement and vegetation-covered roofs to reduce water flowing to the county’s sewage treatment plant.

“Rather than rush in and build something that might not be the best expenditure of dollars, we want to make sure we’re doing it right,” Fitzgerald said Thursday.

Peduto and Fitzgerald sent a letter Feb. 10 to the EPA’s Region III administrator, the head of the state Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Department of Justice. The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, which operates the North Side treatment plant, sent its own letter to the EPA supporting the request.

“Beyond Tunnel Vision” will feature Tim Duggan and Jason Parson, the architects of Kansas City’s switch from an all gray plan to a plan that maximizes all the benefits of green. Tim Duggan is the founder of Phronesis, a Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning firm focused of Green Infrastructure Planning and Design, with offices in Kansas City and New Orleans. Jason Parson is the president/CEO of P+A. Jason has led regional and national initiatives related to green collar jobs, youth development of job and life skills, education, energy, and water quality.

Please register here to attend this event.

Beyond Tunnel Vision: Good Jobs & Green Communities – Lessons from Kansas City
When: Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Phipps Conservatory, Sarris Event Suite, 1 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Registration: Here