Seeing Green by Pratt alumni Tyler Caruso and Erik Facteau featured on NY Daily News and Inhabitat
Wednesday, Jun 22, 2011 @ 3:22 pm
Pratt Environmental Systems Management alumni Tyler Caruso and Erik Facteau were recently featured in a video for The New York Daily News and an article on Inhabitat to draw support for their Seeing Green research initiative, which aims to measure the stormwater management potential of urban agriculture, including roofs and raised beds. The project, which just accomplished its funding goals on the Kickstarter funding platform website, includes the year-long monitoring of Brooklyn Grange (a rooftop farm) and Added Value (a raised bed farm). The resulting data taken from the monitoring experiment will be published, and eventually placed in an open source database where similar studies can be shared. Caruso and Facteau hope that by creating scientific studies that show the exact benefits of urban farming to stormwater management, not only will there be more ecological incentive for urban agriculture, but perhaps more financial backing from local governments.
Curently, New York City gives a tax credit that covers $4.50 per square foot of green roof up to $100,000. However, this credit does not apply to roofs that require irrigation, eliminating urban farms from contention. This logic stems from the fact that if water is being utilized to irrigate plants, adjacent soil will have a lowered capacity to retain water in the case of storm events. Tyler and Erik believe the opposite is true, due to the depth of soil necessary for water-intensive plants found in farms; the duo’s work will measure evapotranspiration rates to see just how much water is retained and removed from the city’s existing infrastructure. Seeing Green is an initiative to validate urban agriculture as a method of stormwater management, and encourage the adoption of inclusive incentives and non-restrictive regulations for urban farming. Stay tuned for updates on Seeing Green throughout the year!