LOUISVILLE CASE STUDY
By: Bobby Hammond
In 2015, the United Nations set 17 sustainable development goals that gave guidelines on how countries can grow and develop all while being environmentally friendly and promoting equality. These goals included better health care, improving education, decreasing poverty, and sparking economic growth while still mitigating climate change.
The overall purpose of this project is to look at how green infrastructure and green space can help further these sustainability goals set by the UN.
Introduction to Louisville
Louisville faces many environmental issues. First, the city has combined sewer overflow and much of the area has been developed. This causes pollutants to be washed into the river. One of the pictures below compares the amount of greenspace in the city to another city. The picture depicts a couple issues. The greenspace isn't connected as a corridor, and there are no major parks on the left side of the city.
Secondly, like any major city in the United States, they are losing greenspace to new development. "Louisville's urban tree canopy is 37% - lower than the 44% recommended canopy for a healthy city. Each year Louisville loses an average of 54,000 trees, and Louisville has lost more than 6,500 acres of trees since 2004. If this trend continues, our tree canopy may decrease to 31% in the next 10 years,"(Buckman 1).
Thirdly,Louisville faces problems with air pollution. The cityranks high in particulate matter, especially PM2.5 according to the EPA.
In the 2000s, the city started to address these issues. The city started on a project called Beargrass Creek Greenway. Following this in 2016, the city began incorporating reen infrastructure and planting trees in order to comply with the EPA's Consent Decree.
In 2005, the Metro Sewer Distric agreed to take steps to control overflows under a federal consent decree, a legally binding document."To help meet the consent decree, MSD prepared a plan to reduce and mitigate the effects of CSOs and to eliminate SSOs and other unauthorized discharges. This long term plan will be carried out through 2024, at an estimated cost of $1.15 billion,"(MSD Editor).