Posted by: UrbanGreenGirl | January 28, 2009

Europe’s grass-lined railways provide beautiful solution to rising city temperatures

Grass-lined tram and railways in Europe

Grass-lined tram and railways in Europe

I just read a  great article this morning that I wanted to share with you. It’s about green urban design that is not only beautiful but ecological. It seems that certain cities across France, Spain, The Netherlands and The Czech Republic are implementing grass-lined railways in the city.

The benefit, aside from being more beautiful then concrete, is that it helps to reduce urban heat island effect which is when the temperature in cities is more warm than surrounding areas.

This happens because dark surfaces, notably cement, absorb the sun’s heat as opposed to vegetation which cools it down.  The imbalanced ratio of dark surfaces to vegetation in urban sprawls increases the temperature.

The result is higher air pollution due to smog which occurs in hotter climates and increased energy consumption from air conditioning needed to offset the heat.

It also provides a permeable surface for storm water absorption and reduces pollution.  Reading articles like this leave me feeling optimistic for a green future. Not to mention, wanting to travel in Europe!

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