Thursday, May 12, 2016

Positive and Negative Impacts of Depaving in Relation to Landscaping

Some of the benefits of depaving parking lots or your any given empty lot is that it provides access for run-off water to penetrate into the earth's soil. Rainwater carries pollutants such as oil, antifreeze, plastics, pesticides, and heavy metals from the roads into local streams and rivers, devastating riparian habitat and polluting local waterways. In places such as Portland Oregon, which uses combined sewer overflows, the high volume of stormwater runoff forces untreated sewage into the rivers. 

Moreover, pavement is known for trapping heat, which is commonly known as "heat island effect". Incorporating urban vegetation can be beneficial in the long run as it provides:
  • Cooling of homes and offices by shading the sun's rays and the protection against harsh winds
  • Ambient cooling from evapotranspiration of rain on the leaves
  • Aesthetic enhancement to areas to psychosocial benefits associated with greenery
  • Enhancing air quality by removing particulate pollutants and carbon dioxide from the air while producing oxygen
  • Visual privacy and reduction of noise from the street
  • Traffic calming when trees are planted along urban streets
  • Restoration of local habitat for birds, insects and other wildlife
  • And if the previously-paved land is used for farming, this provides food and nutrition for local residents 

Another alternative to using vegetation when Depaving is to incorporate artificial turf. Depending on the type of synthetic turf used, generally the following pros for using artificial turf are: 

  • Lower maintenance cost
  • Pesticide-free
  • Increased playability
  • Fewer Injuries
  • Fewer Injuries
  • Saves Water
  • Heat Hazard
  • Lead
  • Zinc Hazard
  • Other harmful chemicals
  • Toxic run-off
  • Increased MRSA risk
  • Bacterial breeding ground
  • Adverse affect on asthmatics
  • Once artificial, always artificial
Link for more details of pros and cons:


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