Permeable Pavement

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1. Sustainability Problem

Excessive rain in urban environments can lead to overburdening of sewer infrastructure, and can also lead to excessive run-off caused erosion in rural areas. Increasing climate change-caused variability will likely increase the likelihood of flooding in certain areas in the future.

2. The Technology

Permeable pavements (anything from porous asphalts and concretes, to grass-like turfs) can help slow the rate of flood-caused water run-off, thus mitigating flooding and erosion. It can also help with groundwater recharge, as makes use of water that would normally end up becoming wastewater.

3. Stakeholders

  • Individuals/households downstream or low lying areas, from farmland that might use herbicides and pesticides on their crops.
  • Urban areas with old, overburdened drainage systems
  • Developers looking to break ground on new commercial and residential projects
  • State and local municipalities that are worried about increased flooding in future decades

4. Implementation

Developers could seek incentives for utilizing this technology in future projects. City governments could also partner with companies that develop this technology to conduct more robust research to get a better sense of how large-scale implementation will positively effect flooding within a specific area or region.


Permeable Pavement


3 thoughts on “Permeable Pavement

  1. This is a really cool technology, and one that could even be increasingly used in NYC. Considering NYC’s aggressive PlaNYC, the city should find ways to integrate permeable pavement in any new development projects. For example, as the city seeks to expand its bike lanes, it should consider installing permeable pavement for these paths. Nice find!


  2. This is a very interesting technology. The opportunity to curb the damning effects of flooding has the potential to be remarkable.


  3. This is great! I first heard about this technology in my disaster management class and I really thought it was a useful thing for city planning. There’s also a related technology that makes rooftops help store / slow down rain and storm water, too.


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