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June 14, 2017

NYT op-ed on infrastructure suggests 'Trump can look to Philadelphia for inspiration'

Infrastructure Government
Carroll - Philadelphia Skyline Buildings Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Philadelphia skyline seen from the 'Dalian on the Park' building above Whole Foods Market near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The city of Philadelphia is getting a moment in the national spotlight for a project that aims to make the city a bit greener. 

The New York Times recently published an op-ed titled "Infrastructure Is Not Just Roads and Bridges" that highlights Philly as an example of what to do right.

The op-ed, penned by Angela Glover Blackwell, the chief executive of PolicyLink, a research institute aimed at advancing economic and social equity, is a critique of President Donald Trump's massive infrastructure rollout last week.

Trump is pushing for a $1 trillion overhaul of the nation's roads and bridges to happen over the course of the next decade, but Blackwell says that the investment needs to go beyond "concrete and steel spans." 

She suggests investments into things like expanded broadband, water accessibility and better public transportation in cities across the nation.

The op-ed highlights Minneapolis and St. Paul for transportation innovations but also points to Philly "for inspiration."

Blackwell touches on Philly's "Green City, Clean Waters" initiative that looks to reduce stormwater runoff and sewer overflows in hopes of reducing pollution in rivers, streams and improving the city's overall urban landscape. 

She writes:

"...Mr. Trump can look to Philadelphia for inspiration. In 2011, the city adopted a $2.4 billion, 25-year plan to reduce storm-water runoff and sewage overflows via green infrastructure. More than 440 projects such as rain gardens, porous paving and green roofs now keep 1.5 billion gallons of polluted water out of the city’s rivers and streams every year while creating jobs for young people facing barriers to employment and beautifying vacant lots."

Read the complete article here or check out a video about the plan from the Philadelphia Water Department below.