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New green infrastructure helps New York communities combat flooding and water pollution

$13 million in resiliency improvements are designed by Stantec in collaboration with the New York Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York


A comprehensive green infrastructure project spanning low-middle income neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens is now complete. The $13 million project is designed by Stantec, a global leader in sustainable design and engineering, and sponsored by the New York Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) to help mitigate flooding, improve water quality, and provide neighborhood beautification.

“Green infrastructure helps New Yorkers both mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects,” GOSR Executive Director Katie Brennan said. “We are proud that this innovative project is making historically underrepresented communities in Brooklyn and Queens more resilient and better able to withstand future storms.” 

As part of this effort, 120 right-of-way bioswales were installed in communities throughout South Brooklyn and South Queens, including Canarsie, Gravesend/Bensonhurst, Midwood/Flatlands, Idlewild, and Rockaway. The Stantec team applied guidelines from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection Green Infrastructure Design Manual to locate bioswales where they would maximize stormwater capture, but also minimize impacts to pedestrians, businesses, and the community. Each bioswale was designed to fit within the available space, avoiding utilities, property entrances, and existing street furniture and trees. Planting plans were selected based on anticipated sun exposure and community character.

Additionally, P.S. 993 @ M.S. 72 in Rochdale was selected as the location for a multifunctional and educational green infrastructure installation. The school’s fully paved front yard was transformed into a multi-use community garden featuring several large rain gardens with resilient plantings, a custom-built shade structure that diverts rainwater into a collection device for use in the gardens, and educational signage. The design team worked closely with school administrators and teachers to develop a program that not only met the project’s stormwater management goals, but also provided significant enhancements for the students and staff alike. The existing community garden was reimagined into a beautiful and functional outdoor education space that maximized the planted area while allowing access for maintenance and emergency vehicles. Plantings in the rain gardens were selected to be low maintenance, drought tolerant, and welcoming to local pollinators and other wildlife.

Together, these systems work to capture rainwater, diverting stormwater from overburdened city storm infrastructure and preserving safety along roads that experience frequent flooding.

“As we adapt to a world that experiences more frequent and more intense rain and flood events, a layered approach to resiliency is essential,” said Christopher Scotti, Stantec project manager. “Green infrastructure projects, such as the work in Brooklyn and Queens, help protect communities at the ground level by providing flood mitigation tools that are both beautiful and multifunctional.”

Stantec led project planning and design, including identifying potential right-of-way bioswale locations and pinpointing the ideal location for the raingarden component. As part of the planning process, the team performed geotechnical investigations at each location and aligned design plans for each site based on established funding provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery program.

About Stantec
Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That's why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.

We care about the communities we serve—because they're our communities too. This allows us to assess what's needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what's never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success.

We're designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.

Stantec trades on the TSX and the NYSE under the symbol STN.

Media Contact                                               
Maggie Meluzio
Stantec Media Relations
Ph (781) 221-1002

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