Porous Percy: PWD takes sustainability to the streets

As shared by Plan Philly, the 800 block of Percy Street in South Philly was unveiled as the City’s first porous street on Tuesday, a pilot initiative that Mayor Nutter is hopeful will lead to the transformation of Philadelphia's 19,654 acres of paved streets and highways into porous "green streets." 

Underneath the 800 block of South Percy Street, there is a layer of stone that will soak up rainwater and eventually allow water to seep into the soil, rather than into Philadelphia’s rivers. This is especially good news considering Philly’s plethora of stormwater management issues. (see Jacob Lambert’s January 2011 cover story, "Water Pressure.")

This project is just a piece of the Water Department’s proposed 25-year plan, which seeks to cut the amount of pollution caused by stormwater runoff, and make this colonial city a “green city.” On their end, this begins with solving the issues that prevent clean water.

The $2 billion plan is still seeking approval (the process is intensive and expensive), but if given the go-ahead, could improve the quality of the water entering our rivers. In any event, the revamping of this street is a hopeful symbol of what could be to come. 

Watch Mayor Nutter's presentation of the newly porous street below (video via nutter2011.com):