The street is the first to use an innovative new roadway material called photocatalytic cement. UV light is absorbed by the material - it keeps the surface clean and it removes nitrogen oxide from the surrounding air.
The streetscape also includes Chicago's first permanent wind/solar powered pedestrian lights and LED light poles – just two of the features that helped reduce energy consumption associated with the redesign by 42%.
Just as significant - the materials and design are important for an under-appreciated but very important purpose - stormwater management - the source of much of the pollution from city streets entering streams, bays and other nearby water. As much as 80% of average annual rainfall from the sewer system is diverted from waterways through a combination of bioswales, rain gardens and permeable pavements.