The Controversy

Now that Thames Water have made their intention clear to press ahead with their darling tunnel, pre-empting proper due-diligence comparison with the enlightened Green Infrastructure (GI) alternative, the time has come to lay out some of the arguments that demonstrate that GI is the much superior solution:

What does Green Infrastructure look like?

A couple of short videos from the City of Philadelphia, the worldwide pioneer on large scale implementation of Green Infrastructure are shown below.

We also recommend the other excellent videos from Waterblues, Green Solutions as well as their full-length documentary, which is also occasionally screened in the UK.

Why so many examples from the US?

The US have had a headstart on old Europe in understanding and experimenting with solutions to combined sewer systems, because their legislation, the Clean Water Act predates Europe’s by nearly 20 years.

Since Philadelphia’s approach has become a roaring success – and with the failure of traditional grey infrastructure in other cities – the US Environment Protection Agency is introducing an increasingly prescriptive regulatory framework to encourage other cities to implement GI to address the combined sewers issue, which is common to many cities older than 100 years and of a certain size/complexity.

New York City, for example, has wholeheartedly embraced GI and even radically stepped up its plans for implementation since feeling the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.

We will be posting more examples soon and if you have any to offer, we’d love to hear from you, please do get in touch.