Benjamin David, a man from Munich, Germany, has a very atypical commute to work – every morning, he swims down the Isar River.
Before departing on his 2,000 kilometers, or 1.24 mile trek, David checks the water levels and speed of the river’s current. Each morning, he packs all of his belongings in a waterproof bag and sets off on his journey… and for a greater cause.
David’s actions are reflective of an ongoing effort to encourage major cities to clean up their waterways and return them back to local communities. Across the globe, local governments and city members are recognizing the importance of cleaning up communal waterways for public access.
In hopes to return the ‘enjoyment’ of local, natural structures to members of the community, major cities such as Paris, New York, and Portland, Oregon have made an effort to restore the conditions of their long-neglected waterways. In Paris, approved public waterways are sectioned off as “clean zones,” enabling residents to swim and enjoy the local waters.
In New York City, a floating pool, known as the ‘+POOL’ is in the works to be installed. In the shape of a plus sign, the walls of the +POOL act as a filtration system, purifying external impurities and permitting safe swimming.
Portland, Oregon is another city reaping the benefits of giving their waterways some tender loving care. After years of neglect and exposure to sewage overflows, Portland’s Willamette River was unable to be used. Since the city’s strategic construction of the Big Pipe, which diverted sewage from flowing into the river, the Willamette River is now miraculously sanitary and safe for swimming. Residents of the city are seen enjoying below.
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Through the efforts of Benjamin David, and countless others, the condition of local waterways have now become a topic of discussion. Public works projects such as constructing greater public access points to communal waterways can be a great way to reconnect people to their local communities. By enjoying the water, members of the community strengthen their relationship with their surroundings and naturally become more inclined to get involved in what happens in the environment around them.
Cities, globally, have been increasingly opening up sanitary waterways to the public. Ensure safe access by checking water quality test results online.
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