Depave empowers disenfranchised communities to overcome social and environmental injustices and adapt to climate change through urban re-greening. Depave transforms over-paved places, creates resilient community greenspaces, promotes workforce development and education, and advocates for policy change to undo manifestations of systemic racism. Depave envisions an empowered society living within sustainable cities, built on a foundation of justice, equity, diversity, practicing inclusion and actively undoing systemic discrimination and social and environmental injustice of every kind. Depave imagines a sustainable city as a place where people and wildlife coexist and prosper amidst clean air, clean water, robust urban forests, thriving local agriculture, and healthy communities.
Since 2008, Depave has delivered high-benefit urban re-greening and community space revitalization for under-served urban communities within the Portland metro region and beyond. Within the Portland, Oregon region Depave has reached over 70 sites - primarily schools, churches and other community gathering places. To date we have removed a cumulative total of 7.2 acres of pavement, creating new greenspaces that manage stormwater runoff from an additional 11.7 acres of impervious areas.
Beyond Portland, Depave has sparked the creation of numerous affiliate groups across the USA, Canada, and worldwide.
A typical Depave project re-greens 3,100 sf with trees, landscaping, restored soils, nature play and other greenspace amenities. Depave transforms urban heat sinks into cool green oases, which offer respite from summer heat, sequester carbon, infiltrate stormwater, reduce flooding, create habitat, improve air quality, and reduce energy consumption and crime! Our work creates accessible recreational spaces, which divert trips to more distant park and recreation destinations. Trees planted shade adjacent buildings and reduce energy consumption, boosting canopy cover in under-treed neighborhoods. Because Depave’s projects are embedded within an urban matrix of impervious surfaces, the project benefits are often larger than a simple summation of depaved areas. The numerous social benefits of our work have not been fully quantified.