Friday Five – Rainwater Canopy, Philly Soda Tax, University City Overhaul, The Oslo Standard, & Green Dumpsters

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Welcome to the newest edition of the Friday Five! Here’s what we’ve been reading and thinking about this week:

Rio 2016 Olympic Golf Course Includes Rainwater-Collecting Canopy

Golf Course

Despite all of the problems plaguing the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, there is some good coming out of it. Rua Arquitetos, a Brazilian architectural studio, has developed an aesthetically pleasing tree-like canopy that collects rainwater to irrigate the golf course for the summer games. Fun fact: This will be the first Olympic tournament since 1904 to host golf events.

Soda Tax Signed Into Law; Will Help Fund City Trails

Mayor Kenney

Good news for bikers! The controversial 1.5 cent/ounce tax on any sugary drink (notably soda) was signed earlier this month after a strong push from Mayor Jim Kenney and countless other advocates. It will help raise funds for Philly’s pre-K schoolkids and for some repairs of city parks, rec centers, and libraries. In theory, this tax should speed up the Circuit Trails that have yet to be developed.

$6.5B Price Tag for 35-year University City Overhaul

University City Skyline

Does $6.5 Billion ($2B in infrastructure investment and about $4.5B in private investment) over 35 years seem like a lot? Well, when we break it down, those involved (taxpayers can only hope we’ll be excluded) will be investing $5.80/sec, or $21,200 each hour for the next 35 years. Although plans and investor commitments are subject to change, that’s a lot of money! What are your thoughts on the plan to build 18 million square feet on the 88 acres of rail yards? All in all, it sounds like real estate prices will continue to rise in University City.

The Oslo Standard

The Oslo Standard

Attempting to navigate the bureaucratic Road Directorate, the city of Oslo is trying to create a Best Practice bicycle infrastructure. Since Norwegian road design standards are a huge hurdle to The Bicycle Agency, Oslo is deciding to stand up to the road directorate and reveal its planning document for safe and accessible bike infrastructure. The introduction to that plan states “… A majority of Oslo’s citizens say they don’t feel safe cycling in the city and that much of the bicycle infrastructure that is in place doesn’t satisfy the citizens’ needs or wishes.” Check out their designs.

Plant-Filled Dumpsters Could Help Solve Gowanus Canal’s Wastewater Problem

Gowanus Dumpsters

Would you want to see dumpsters hanging out in random parking lots in your town? How about dumpsters filled with soil and greenery that soak up stormwater before it reaches your oft-overflowing river/canal/waterway? Alloy Development, is doing just that in Gowanus, Brooklyn. To reduce the amount of untreated sewer overflow, a community board voted to allow Alloy to install 10 of these dumpsters in parking lots next year. Can Philly adopt similar initiatives?


From the Postgreen family, we hope you have a great weekend!

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