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Biophilic Transportation & Pedestrian Projects

  • 1.  Biophilic Transportation & Pedestrian Projects

    Posted 05-23-2020 09:37 AM

    Hi,

    I wanted to start this thread to introduce a discussion topic that I am interested in exploring. I believe the term "biophilic" is most commonly associated with Architecture, however with the demand and encouragement to design many future projects sustainably, I feel like it would be a great application to Transportation Engineering too.

    Does anyone know about any discussions or research/completed projects related to transportation and sustainable design? I think the Atlanta Beltline might be a good example, but I don't know much from here. I think I have seen a project that was designed for an overpass with nothing but landscape as a function of animal crossing and green space over a highway. I don't know what it was called and it was more than a few years back when I saw this project.

    Thanks,


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    Additionally, there are some small scale projects using plants that significantly reduce CO2, nitrogen and also serves as a noise reduction/dampener, such as moss. I am really interested in seeing a project like that be built in harmony with our highway/transportation designs considering the high demand and pressure to reduce GHG emissions in states like California.

    A great example is where moss plants were applied involving the design of a bench that was about 10’x10’. The moss wall was capturing and filtering CO2 and other pollutants at the rate of 275 trees. In my opinion, a 10'x10' moss wall seems highly efficient considering that 275 trees requires a larger area to treat air pollution. 

    Link here:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2018/03/20/this-city-bench-absorbs-more-air-pollution-than-a-grove-of-trees/#499083296b8d

    The company who designed the bench is called Green City Solutions. 

    *COVID-19: Interestingly, I was present at a webinar a few weeks ago discussing COVID's spread through air particulates and what environmental engineers could do to assist in preventing the spread of the virus. The company's website also has a page where they discuss about the influence of COVID-19 Air Quality and they're based in Germany.
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    Oanh Le Aff.M.ASCE
    Suwanee GA
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  • 2.  RE: Biophilic Transportation & Pedestrian Projects

    Posted 06-04-2020 09:29 AM
    I have seen this kind of work primarily in Europe and am not familiar with too many projects in the US. The only similar projects here are part of the Green Infrastructure that works as storm-water management which may not be exactly what you are referring. We also have several projects around the city that have installed a green roof:

    https://uwm.edu/sustainability/what-we-do/water/green-roofs/

    Greenroofs.com has a database of projects around the world.

    Several years ago I had a large rain garden built in my yard to manage storm-water runoff from the house downspouts.That has been successful.

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    Yance Marti P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer IV
    City of Milwaukee
    Milwaukee WI
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  • 3.  RE: Biophilic Transportation & Pedestrian Projects

    Posted 07-02-2020 04:22 PM
    I found the terminology that is used to describe the projects that I was describing above. They are called Wildlife Corridors and I don't see many of them. I am also really interested in seeing more about the green roofs project, the filtration and treatment process seems to be an integrated part of the roof from UWM.

    I have a concept that considers the use of our existing buildings and reconsiders the way some of our gutter system works to capture the rainwater and harvest it for human consumption before it hits the ground. The idea behind that is to bypass a step where our traditional water system travels through to the lowest points along the site where it picks up bacteria, chemicals, and other hazards that would cause it to require treatment. Similar to your rain garden project, although I have not seen it and would like to, the rainwater can be captured before or after the downspouts and works through a gravity filtration system then gets collected into a storage system at the lowest point. The first important step is that the rainwater is harvested before it hits the ground and the second important step is being able to get the water back into the system for consumption. The process captures rainwater through the roof, filters, then stores it and connect its back into the traditional piping system. If you have excessive water it could also put cleaner water back into the ecosystem. I also wonder how this idea might be helpful for some areas that experience droughts where it can be installed as long as there is a roofing system (A means to collect rainfall). Most urbanized areas and dense places have a large surface area that is covered on their roof that doesn't get utilized, although some are used now for solar power. It would be great if those surface areas could be considered as potential sources of rainwater harvesting and human consumption.

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    Oanh Le A.M.ASCE
    Rochdale MA
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  • 4.  RE: Biophilic Transportation & Pedestrian Projects

    Posted 07-07-2020 11:00 AM
    Many of the green roofs here are used to divert the storm water to the plants before it enters the storm water system as happens in a normal roof system. Rainwater harvesting is usually done for garden watering applications. I have several rain barrels that are connected to my house gutters and downspouts to store water for the plants in my garden.

    On trips to Cuba, I have seen rainwater collection systems on buildings to provide unfiltered or minimally-filtered water to provide water for toilets. Drinking water is treated separately. Greywater systems make sense and there is a movement to use it in a separate in-building plumbing system for toilets.

    https://greywateraction.org/

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    Yance Marti P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer IV
    City of Milwaukee
    Milwaukee WI
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  • 5.  RE: Biophilic Transportation & Pedestrian Projects

    Posted 04-04-2021 09:47 AM
    I love these resources, thank you Mr. Marti for these great websites.

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    Oanh Le EIT, A.M.ASCE (She/Her)
    Rochdale, MA
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