Monday, October 11, 2010

Why green yards are important

From the Wall Street Journal:

New York City, in the public imagination, is a land without yards. The relative scarcity of private residential green spaces is one of the many ways home life in the densely-packed city is thought to differ from the spacious suburbs.

So it’s something of a shock to learn that residential yards make up 27% percent of the city’s total area — and that’s not counting parks or the greenery found adjacent to sidewalks or on street medians. That finding comes from the work of a group called Sustainable Yards, whose founder, Evan Mason, used satellite images to tally the yard space in all five boroughs.

Mason describes her research, conducted with help from the City University of New York, in an interview with science blogger Emily Anthes. The discussion hits on the importance of these yard spaces, including ways they can help the city save money. Green yards, which absorb rain and moisture, are better than concrete from an economic view, Mason explains:
Very simply said: Soil is good. It costs $127 a gallon to treat water in our water treatment system. So what we’ve done is actually gone into as many backyards as we can in one particular block. With CUNY, we’re actually measuring the square footage, how much is permeable, how much is impermeable. So if a whole set of backyards, is, say, 90 percent permeable, then you can start making a calculation of how many gallons are diverted from the water treatment system and how much money that saves the city.

This is technically not true. Homeowners must, by law, maintain storm water runoff on their own property. By obeying the law, they aren't "saving" the City a dime. People who pave over their yards are in effect breaking the law, are the ones who are overburdening the sewer system, costing the City money and should be fined accordingly.


Anonymous said...

$127 a gallon? WTF are they talking about?

Snake Plissskin said...

How about developers taking over every square inch including back as well as front yars?

Putting trees everywhere on sidewalks not only doesn't cut it, but takes away play space for kids.

But, since the people planning this shit doesnt understand the city they 'serve' (probibally were soccer kids in the suburbs so they don't understand a thing about stoop culture)

cherokeesista said...

In my neighborhood Asians concrete every piece of land they can so they can park on it:(

Big Hairy Balls said...

Do what I did move out of NY. I have a half acre backyard and little to no riff raff. Now I visit NY as a tourist and it's fun knowing that I don't live in a shithole!

Anonymous said...

Too late. This city is doomed to flood by the DOB looking the other way to the illegal conversions.

Vallone, you're public offender Number One in this regard, you FUCKING PRICK.

Anonymous said...

Where did you move to? I'm in Flushing and I'm so sick of the this place. Considering a move to LI or Conn.

Big Hairy Balls said...

Smith Island, Maryland. Less than an hour to downtown Baltimore for you commuters. I have work on the island however.