Earlier this month, The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) unveiled a street that has the ability to clean the pollution from the surrounding air. What has been dubbed the ‘greenest street in America’, it can divert storm water to prevent sewers from overflowing and cleans the surface of the road using photocatalytic cement.

The street is located in the Pilsen neighbourhood and extends for three kilometres. It is the first commercial roadway application of photocatalytic cement. The cement serves multiple purposes. It cleans the surface of the roadway and removes nitrogen oxide gases from the air through a catalytic reaction driven by UV light.

CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein said of the project:

“This project demonstrates a full range of sustainable design techniques that improve the urban ecosystem, promote economic development, increase the safety and usability of streets for all users, and build healthy communities.”

Twenty-three percent of all materials were sourced from recycled content and sixty percent of all construction waste was recycled.

“This incredible project has improved the infrastructure and quality of life of the Pilsen Community by creating the greenest street in the country. Sustainability projects like this advance change in the public and private sectors and demonstrate the city’s ability to lead by example.”

All quotes sourced from cityofchicago.org.