Thursday, 31 August 2017

How green roofs can protect city streets from flooding

How green roofs can protect city streets from flooding

How green roofs can protect city streets from flooding

The Acros Fukuoka eco-building in Fukuoka, Japan boasts one of the world’s most famous green roofs. The GRIT Lab at the University of Toronto is working to bring green roofs to the city and beyond in order to combat climate change. (Shutterstock)
Spring and summer 2017 have been among the wettest on record in eastern North America. And the world is watching Houston this week, where the remains of Hurricane Harvey have caused devastating flooding.
Rainfall amounts in the spring broke records in places like Toronto, where 44.6 millimetres of rain fell in 24 hours. The downpours earlier this spring caused the stormwater infrastructure in Canada’s biggest city to overflow, leading to flooding of busy downtown streets.
Urbanization in many North American cities has led to a rapid loss of permeable surfaces where water can freely drain. Coupled with the growing downtown core population in cities Toronto, this means that the stormwater and sewer systems in place must manage more water than in previous decades. 
Furthermore, global temperature increases have been linked to the rise in extreme weather events worldwide, a trend that could worsen if global warming is not brought under control.
Many cities are ill-equipped to deal with these unprecedented amounts of precipitation due to their insufficient and outdated stormwater infrastructure. 
A tow truck driver walks through flood waters after hooking up a car on the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto after a major rainstorm in July 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

OCCUPY DEMOCRACY | Because democracy is in crisis – and we want REAL DEMOCRACY NOW!

OCCUPY DEMOCRACY | Because democracy is in crisis – and we want REAL DEMOCRACY NOW!

Occupy Democracy

Why Occupy Democracy?
  • our democracy has been captured by corporations, banks and the wealthy,
  • our political system works in the interests of the 1% and not the 99%,
  • nobody voted for NHS privatisation, fracking, TTIP, the tripling of tuition fees, etc,
  • our parliament is a corrupted and unrepresentative institution
  • ordinary people deserve a fair say in the decisions that affect them,
  • our votes, hard won by previous generations, have little value today,
  • there is an alternative!
We demand:
  • reform of party funding so that members of parliament act in the interests of  those who elect them rather than the 1% who bankroll them,
  • major democratic reform of the media to break the stranglehold of vested interests,
  • a fundamental overhaul of lobbying and the way powerful economic interests inhabit the corridors of power within government,
  • the introduction of proportional representation so that everyone’s vote counts,
  • that MPs should not have conflicts of interests from either paid employment or corporate shareholdings,
  • a citizen-led constitutional convention for real democracy.
Our history:
In October 2014 we occupied Parliament Square peacefully for nine days to mark the start of our campaign tood_2 rid our democracy of corporate interests and start a movement capable of building a real democracy that works for people and planet. The establishment responded with a  strategy designed to have a chilling effect – over-policing and media silence. We remained peaceful and resolute in our determination to make  our point, and to demand our right to protest and assemble. Our numbers grew and we kept on with our solutions-focused programme of debates, talks and entertainment. We returned to Parliament Square once a month, and then held a nine-day occupation during the general election in  May 2015. Thank you to everybody who helped make this happen! 
Legal update: 
Occupy Democracy and Liberty are taking the Mayor of London to the High Court in a Judicial Review of his decision to fence off Parliament Square and deny Occupy Democracy access from October to December 2014. A question by Jenny Jones to the Mayor revealed that nearly £2 million had been spent suppressing peaceful pro-democracy protests from October 2014 to February 2015 alone. A Freedom of information request confirmed that police numbers peaked at 500 per day. Despite interfering with our right to protest by making dozens of arrests, the authorities have yet to successfully prosecute a single Occupy Democracy protester with every case that the Crown Prosecution Service has brought to court so far resulting in the defendants being acquitted or having their charges dropped.
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Better World Links - A unique resource & powerful tool for people who want to make this world a better place

Better World Links

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