Cities Go Green for Clean Water


green infrastructure

Last week on a sunny afternoon, the view from the Rockwell Automation Center in Milwaukee of the surrounding city and over towards Lake Michigan was beautiful. I was on a tour of some of the city’s green roofs as part of an Urban Sustainability Conference sponsored by the Clean Water America Alliance.

The conference highlighted cities across the country using cost-effective water management techniques, like green roofs and green streets, to achieve clean water. From Los Angeles to Louisville, KY, to Milwaukee, communities are starting to invest in the approaches to reduce sewer overflows, flooding and create jobs. Just this week, Washington DC adopted a final plan to reduce polluted stormwater runoff that requires installation of green roofs and using water on-site instead of letting it pollute local streams.

But, back to the tour – my colleague Sean Foltz led part of it and highlighted the green roof at the Energy Exchange, one of many sites where American Rivers has been working in Milwaukee in partnership with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and local businesses. Once you’re on a green roof, you wonder why we don’t have more – it’s like being on an oasis in the middle of a city – cool, green and gorgeous.

We’re working for policies that further promote these urban refuges for people and clean water – do you have a green roof near you?