Mike Houck
The business case for greening our cities

We know ‘green infrastructure’ can provide low-cost solutions for communities to better handle those big pulses of water gushing over roads and into pipes when the big rains come… and we know greening our cities is good for biocarbon and for the human spirit. 

In this piece from Sustainable Business Oregon, an environmentalist and the head of an industry trade group team up to make the business and jobs case for green infrastructure in Oregon.  Another great example of how the best biocarbon solutions have multiple benefits! 

The business case for greening our cities

By Teresa Huntsinger, Oregon Environmental Council and Jeff Stone, Oregon Association of Nurseries

The wet season is upon us.

All that rain pounding on buildings and sidewalks, working its way down city streets reminds us that cities weren’t built to handle wet weather as well as natural areas do. As a result, stormwater runoff is the largest source of pollution for urban streams. Fixing this problem is fostering a new growth industry for our state, and it’s helping one of our largest industrial sectors recover from the recession.

The solution to runoff is right in front of us: using plants and soil to restore natural function to our cities by shading our homes and rivers and absorbing and cleaning the polluted water that runs off streets, sidewalks and rooftops. Known as green infrastructure or low-impact development, facilities like green roofs, green walls, rain gardens, bioswales and street trees are environmentally friendly and cost-effective approaches to managing rainwater and preventing pollution in our waterways.

Read more in Sustainable Business Oregon

Author Bio

Rhys Roth

Director, Center for Sustainable Infrastructure, Climate Solutions

Rhys Roth co-founded Climate Solutions in 1998, and left the organization in July 2013 to create the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure.

To connect with the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure, contact Rhys Roth at or 360-867-6906.

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