Utilizing green stormwater infrastructure to combat sewer overflows, while creating community-based, shared spaces for local neighborhoods
There are approximately 40,000 vacant parcels throughout the City of Philadelphia. The Green Vacant Lands program—a part of Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters initiative—aims to identify vacant parcels that could be used for stormwater management while providing maximum benefit to the surrounding neighborhood. Heston Gardens is the first vacant land project in Philadelphia and has served as a model project for the City.
Contributing surveying, geotechnical engineering, landscape architecture, green stormwater infrastructure, and site/civil engineering design services, we helped create a rain garden and a subsurface storage trench that collects impervious runoff from the surrounding street network. Since Heston Gardens is located at a topographic low point, the rain garden was designed to manage 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) of runoff, as this volume encompasses around 80% of the storm events in the Philadelphia region.
The space also features new sidewalks, a gazebo, benches, a wheelchair access path, new ADA-compliant curb ramps, and a mural. Using both paints and mosaic elements, the mural features the Schuylkill River, which is one of the rivers that the new rain garden and storage trench help to improve and protect.
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