Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns!

"Green Street" Design

By Christina Catanese

Imagine strolling along a street shaded by trees, illuminated by solar-powered street lamps, on sidewalks lined with gardens that quickly soak up rainwater after a spring storm.  Imagine a town that is training a local workforce to build these sustainable, green streets.  Imagine a town where the new Triple Bottom Line – people, planet, profit – is the standard for local businesses. Imagine a legacy of sustainability.

If this doesn’t sound like your town (or it sounds like what you think your town ought to be), then come to the Green Streets-Green Jobs Forum on April 29th and 30th in Silver Spring, MD, and be a part of the launch of a public-private effort in support of innovative, green infrastructure practices to restore our urban waters and protect public health and safety!

EPA is a partner in the Chesapeake Bay-Anacostia Watershed public-private initiative, whose goal is to build a network of support for communities interested in greening their neighborhoods and towns.  The initiative seeks to provide the technical and financial assistance to enable smart planning, watershed and stormwater management, and green infrastructure construction, as well as stimulate the green jobs market and enable families to work where they live and play.

The forum will explore the steps that communities are taking right now to green their streets and towns.  Keynote Speaker Mr. Robert Adair will highlight the City of Houston’s Low Impact Development Design Competition, an innovative strategy that makes Houston a leader in demonstrating cost-effective green infrastructure practices. Other local case studies showcasing  green street design and planning will also be highlighted, along with the first Green Streets-Green Jobs grant recipients and the leadership of other green infrastructure partners.

For communities looking to make their towns a little greener, speakers from all sectors (state federal and local governments, city planners, engineers, business and industry executives and green street experts) will discuss resources available to support community greening efforts.  The forum will showcase policy and planning tools, as well as detailed insight into designing green communities, creating demand for green jobs, and the financing, training, and education that goes along with them.

With the vision of a Triple Bottom Line, green infrastructure has benefits to people, the economy, and the environment.  Come learn about these many benefits of integrated watershed planning, like sustainable stormwater management, reduced energy costs, improved air quality, and a new demand for green jobs, just to name a few!

Space is limited, so please RSVP or Register for the Green Streets-Green Jobs Forum by April 21, 2011. We look forward to seeing you there!

About the Author: Christina Catanese has worked at EPA since 2010, and her work focuses on data analysis and management, GIS mapping and tools, communications, and other tasks that support the work of Regional water programs. Originally from Pittsburgh, Christina has lived in Philadelphia since attending the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Political Science and an M.S. in Applied Geosciences with a Hydrogeology concentration. Trained in dance (ballet, modern, and other styles) from a young age, Christina continues to perform, choreograph and teach in the Philadelphia area.