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A hotter climate demands that we clean up our rivers for swimming

By illuminem briefings 🌎

Jul 11 2023 · 1 min read

Illuminem Voices
Nature · Climate Change · Biodiversity

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece here in The New York Times or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: The city of Munich has reaped the benefits of an 11-year, $38 million project that restored the Isar River, making it an urban oasis for residents seeking relief from increasing summer heat
• The project, which began in 2000, included purifying the river's waters, expanding floodplains, and reconfiguring banks to handle spring snowmelt

🔭 The context: Urban areas are typically hit harder by heat due to their vast paved surfaces and confined spaces: restoring rivers to create 'green infrastructure' offers a means of combating these effects

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Following Munich's lead, cities that suffer from heat challenges, could restore their rivers, offering both heat relief and environmental benefits
• The Isar's restoration not only benefits Munich's inhabitants but also its flora and fauna, contributing to a healthier city ecosystem
However, to make urban rivers safe for swimming, cities must first tackle issues such as toxic runoff, pollution from farms and factories, and overburdened sewage systems

⏭️ What's next: With climate change leading to more intense heat and depleting rivers, the urgency of river restoration is increasing. Cities like New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago are already making efforts to clean their urban rivers

💬 One quote: “I don’t have a balcony, I don’t have a garden, but I have the Isar” (Munich resident)

📈 One fact: The impressive transformation of Munich's Isar River came with a price tag of $38 million, spread over an 11-year period

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