Stormwater Runoff -- A Community Amenity?

Dealing with stormwater runoff and the pollutants it carries has been the responsibility of civil engineers for decades. But it's been suggested that planners and architects elevate this infrastructural concern to the heights of community design.

By citing case studies in Seattle and Denver, this article from Smart Growth Online proposes that the historically unglamorous task of dealing with stormwater runoff be integrated with community design to create livable, attractive and environmentally friendly places.

"The next change for creating great places is adding function to stormwater runoff management. Architects, town planners, and developers need to start imagining how a community's runoff can be harnessed to create a more inviting, dynamic, and vibrant neighborhood."

"Increasing densities regionally can better protect water resources at a regional level, higher-density development can create more site-level impervious cover, which can increase water-quality problems in nearby or adjacent bodies of water. Numerous site-level techniques are available to address this problem. When used in combination with regional techniques, these site-level techniques can prevent, treat, and store runoff and associated pollutants. Many of these practices incorporate low-impact development techniques, such as rain gardens, bio-retention areas, and grass swales. Others go further by changing site-design practices, for example, by reducing parking spaces, narrowing streets, and eliminating cul-de-sacs."

Full Story: Turning Stormwater Runoff into a Community Amenity


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.

Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Habitat blockitecture tower

Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.