Utilizing the public right-of-way to manage stormwater runoff, we helped improve the right-of-way and revitalize community spaces
Philadelphia’s streets and sidewalks account for 38% of impervious cover—areas that don’t absorb stormwater runoff—within the combined sewer service area. This represents the largest category of public impervious cover within the city. The Green Streets program (part of the City of Philadelphia’s 25-year Green City, Clean Waters initiative) aims to improve the health of Philadelphia’s waterways by intercepting and managing stormwater runoff from these sorts of locations. In this case, that means addressing runoff from the public right-of-way before it reaches the existing combined sewer system.
The development integrates a new public open space and the management of off-site stormwater runoff within the public right-of-way. Our design renovated the park to include three stormwater tree trenches which are designed to manage the first 1.3 inches (3.3 centimetres) of rainfall. Functionally, they provide pollutant filtration while reducing the volume of stormwater discharges to the public sewer network. Inside the park, there’s an improved green space with benches and new fencing, all of which complements a beautiful mural.
With this redesign, the public right-of-way is used as a stormwater management system while maintaining the primary functions of the road and sidewalk—and the community enjoys a new, revitalized space.
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