Depaving makes grassroots sense: “A little less asphalt. A little more greenery.”


“I feel like we’ve just gotten so used to looking at these huge spaces are just asphalt and asphalt. Now whenever I got to a new space, I look at how the space is being used and where’s the water going to.”

I’m accepting solicitations from those candidates — ONLY those candidates — who support ideas like depaving and an accelerated program of planting trees. Advocacy needn’t be expressed with promises of kickback loot or campaign finance extractions. Rather, comprehension of the utility of grassroots projects like this one is enough to start the conversation.

Any Democrats out there capable of handling this solo, or will you need to visit Big Daddy G or the AdamBot to ask permission?

Depaving Paradise: Grassroots Portland Group Reclaims Parking Lots by Hand, by Angie Schmitt (Streetsblog)

A little less asphalt. A little more greenery.

That’s the mission of Depave Portland, a volunteer group that is deconstructing parking lots all across the Oregon city, replacing them with water filtration gardens, or playgrounds for children.

Since its founding in 2008, the organization has deconstructed some 75 parking lots across Portland, removing 150,000 square feet of pavement by hand with the help of more than 3,000 volunteers. Its projects have diverted more than 3.5 millions gallons of stormwater runoff from local watersheds.

The movement is spreading; Depave groups modeled on Portland’s are now active in Canada, Cincinnati and Tennessee.

Carlos Nuñez, a member of the board, spoke with Streetsblog to explain the motivation and how it all works. (The below has been lightly edited for length and clarity.)