The City of Cincinnati has numerous projects underway to reduce the overall environmental impact of hardscaped surfaces. 

Oakley Square is receiving new streetscaping which includes pervious concrete sidewalks, gutters and pavers as well as rain gardens and urban bio-retention planters.  These planters reduce water runoff and the urban heat island effect.  As the Geier Esplanade is redesigned, the overall amount of impervious (concrete) pavement will be decreased and greenspace will increase.  This is being done in conjunction with new water lines along Madison Road, all the way to Ridge Road.

Spring Grove Avenue will have similar improvements done.  There will be 77 new street trees planted and over 6,000 square feet of rain gardens added to the public right-of-way.  It will transform the street.

Rain gardens allow rain water to flow into the ground where pollutants are Cincinnati Infrastructurecleared out.  Overall, they will reduce the storm water runoff and prevent overflow problems of sanitary waste into the Mill Creek waterway. 

In Camp Washington along Hopple Street, the pervious paver system will be installed along with recycled granite curbs. 

In downtown areas, the city plans to create "Green Alleys" that reuse historic clay bricks that have been salvaged and cleaned to build additional pervious pavement systems.  When building those, an underground storm water storage area composed of rocks and gravel is built, so that the water can filter through the pavement system and be held until the ground naturally absorbs it.  These areas compose between 5-10% of the total surface area of Over the Rhine and the Central Business District.

No wonder we see orange barrels everywhere we go!