Washington: The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has recently unveiled "the greenest street in America", which is paved with smog-eating cement.
It is the first phase of a two-mile stretch along Blue Island Avenue and Cermak Road on the city's southwest side.
Besides filtering storm water to relieve the sewer system, the street surface will be paved with photocatalytic cement that contains nanoparticles of titanium dioxide, which "eat" smog and nitrogen oxide gas from the air.
Also installed were the first permanent wind- and solar-powered pedestrian lights and the first LED street lights in Chicago.
"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," Discovery news quoted CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein as saying in a press release.
"It provides both mitigation and adaptation strategies by reducing its carbon footprint and integrating technologies that allow the infrastructure to address and adapt to climate change," Klein said.
Up to 80 percent of the typical average rainfall will be diverted through a combination of bioswales, rain gardens, permeable pavements and storm water features. More than 60 percent of the project's construction waste was recycled and more than 23 percent of all new materials were sourced from recycled content.
By installing dark-sky friendly light fixtures, energy use of the street will be reduced by 42 percent.
To help cut down on Chicago's sweltering summer heat, nearly 40 percent of the public right of way was paved with light-coloured, reflective material.
Also, developers added a 131 percent increase in landscape and tree canopy cover.
The 14-million-dollar project was funded largely through Tax Increment Financing, along with 800,000-dollar worth of grants from the Federal Highway Administration, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Midwest Generation.