It is depressing to walk down city streets and see home after home with huge areas for cars or huge patios. So much grey asphalt, concrete and pavers is hardly cheering. And there are also many other reasons why too much hard paving is a bad idea.
For one thing, huge areas of impermeable surface create issues with run-off and flooding. These large flat areas of the built environment can’t absorb rainfall like soil and plants – and all that water has to go somewhere. Often, homeowners have spent little time thinking about this when paving over their property. (And town planners and council authorities also often have a lot to answer for.)
The runoff from paved areas also often carries pollutants out into surrounding environments. While we may not be able to do much about roads, carparks and other grey areas of urban jungles, we can potentially tackle this issue closer to where we live – perhaps by lifting paving which is in place, or at least by making sure we do not contribute to the problem.
Of course, removing (or avoiding) excessive paving is not just about water management. Large paved areas are, effectively, ecologically barren zones. Just think how much more productive, diverse and thriving these spaces could be if not covered in a man-made smothering blanket of concrete, pavers or slabs.
Getting rid of excessive paving when you buy a property may not be easy. But it is possible to reclaim such spaces. In one of my recent designs (which I shall share as a case study shortly) I helped a homeowner with a plan to remove the concrete pavers from a yard and use those pavers to create a new organic, climate-conscious, water-wise garden.
If you would like some help with a design involving the removal (and perhaps reuse) of excessive driveway surface, concrete or patio paving, please get in touch.