Could Harvard expansion restore Allston’s watery ways?

In the late 19th century, the banks of the Charles River near the Harvard campus were covered with marshes, cut through with small streams that advanced and retreated with the tides.
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Then engineers took over. The tidal marshes were filled, land was reclaimed, and many of the streams were buried underground in pipes.

Now, as Harvard begins its expansion on the Allston side of the Charles, there is a push to return the area to a more natural state – part of an emerging national movement that touts the environmental benefits of landscape restoration.

For the last two years, Harvard, the city, the local community, and various groups including the watershed association have worked – sometimes contentiously – to determine the best course for the project. Bowditch said her group’s main goal is to figure out how the drainage systems in North Allston work and how to make them work better.

Could Harvard expansion restore Allston’s watery ways? – The Boston Globe.

Stopping the flow of Chicago’s urban pollution

It’s a quest similar to those undertaken by neighboring communities after a six-year building boom that changed the landscape of the once mostly-rural suburbs southwest of Chicago. Since 2000, Will County’s population surged 33 percent, making it the fastest-growing county in Illinois and among the most rapidly expanding in the U.S.

Now that the building has slowed, many communities are taking a step back to identify areas straining under the weight of urbanization.

“We know the slowdown isn’t going to last forever,” DeVivo said. “Now is the perfect time to focus our attention toward protecting our natural environment.”

The environmental survey of Long Run Creek, released late last year and funded by an $80,000 state grant, revealed a creek under assault. Researchers documented garbage dumps similar to what DeVivo had seen, but also areas of the creek where natural buffers have eroded, contributing to a loss of native plants and insects.

Stopping the flow of urban pollution — chicagotribune.com.

Environmentalists push $1 million program to save urban trees

Environmentalists eager to save urban trees are promoting the Evergreen Cities campaign, naming it one of their top four priorities for the legislative session that starts next Monday. They’re pushing a $1 million program to improve urban forests statewide.

Protections for urban trees vary widely in the Puget Sound region, contributing to a dramatic decline in the tree cover. Satellite images from the ’70s are dominated by green swaths with black specks of buildings and roads. Recent pictures are practically reversed, with black oozing across the image and green patches shining through.

It’s an urban deforestation seen nationwide. About 25 percent of city tree canopy vanished over the past 30 years, based on satellite image analysis by American Forests, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group.

Environmentalists push $1 million program to save urban trees. Seattle – LISA STIFFLER SeattlePI

London Olympics bringing in more equipment for clean up

The London Olympics site is current undergoing remediation and has just brought in more moachinery to clean 750 tonnes of soil per day. The construction program starts in spring with the Olympic Stadium.

Read more at Building.co.uk

Greece to transform airport into a park | Spero News

A MULTIMILLION-EURO plan to transform Athens’ former airport into a residential park complete with sports venues and leisure and business centres has been met with mixed reactions by experts.

On November 26, Public Works Minister George Souflias opened the Elliniko project to public consultation, giving architects, landscape architects, civil engineers, local mayors, ministers and transport directors an opportunity to air their objections – or forever hold their peace – before the bulldozers roll in.

“My first impression is that it’s probably the best plan that has ever appeared for the area,” says landscape architect Thomas Doxiadis. “It is a very responsible and forward-thinking landscape strategy of the type we should be looking at for the next century.”

Greece to transform airport into a park | Spero News.

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