What do you want for nothin' -- a rrrrrubber sidewalk?

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Andy Donovan-Shead sends along a couple of interesting solutions for keeping cities green while accommodating the built environment:

Rubber sidewalks made from recycled tires (Chips, naturally) are better able to accommodate growing trees without the usual heaving and cracking of concrete walks. The downside: Higher initial cost, but with the benefit of saving valuable shade trees, and the material handles temperature extremes.

Green roofs are sprouting all over Chicago, starting with City Hall. Grass and trees on rooftops help reduce stormwater runoff and clean and cool the air.

I'm reminded of the concept of permeable driveways -- using a minimal amount of solid material to make for a stable surface for cars to drive and park on, but allowing as much grass as possible, which again reduces stormwater runoff and reduces heat. If you have a driveway long enough, it's going to crack and grass will start growing through it anyway. Anyone know if this sort of thing would meet the Tulsa zoning code's requirement for parking on an "all-weather" surface?


Paul Tay said:

Oh come off it ALREADY Bates! You know the Concrete Nazis rule this crummy town with nary a progressive idea. If you don't believe me, just try to build a house with old auto tires. No way anyone's gonna git a permit for anything remotely resembling sustainablity. After fighting this battle for all these years, I give up. Dr. WasteLove or How I stopped worrying and learn to love global warming.

astronaut of innerspace said:

No Oklahoma government at any level is going to do anything that is more expensive in the beginning than the alternative. This is called investment. European governments do this all the time. Won't happen here. At best, a wait and see attitude will watch "best practices" of other states and then be one of the last to adopt new tech's. Rubber sidewalks is just the start. What about plastic liners inside the broken water mains? Or plastic resins in the asphalt of the street? Or bridge structures made out of stainless steel?
As for driveways in Tulsa (don't know about 'burbs) there is a precedent. I believe that a cars tires must be parked on paving. But a style that ended about post-war with examples around mid-town not uncommon, was 2 strips of concrete with a grass middle. This saved material and the backs of the ditch-diggers.
My '20's house had a solid drive but I liked the other so well, that I rented a concrete saw and cut a 22" strip out of the middle and sodded it. It is 2" lower that the drive surface. The instant benefit was more green, lower temp's and no puddles standing on the drive anymore. The lawn-mowers wheels go right down into the cut-out. My drive now matches a house on the next street that was done like this to begin with when it was built in the '20's.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 11, 2006 11:56 PM.

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