Green stormwater management elements such as green roofs, green streets, and constructed wetlands handle rainfall and alleviate the negative impacts to watershed health as well as reduce the need for costly and single purpose “grey” infrastructure.
Communities across the country are struggling with the question of what to do with defunct shopping centers that blight neighborhoods and strain local economies. This problem is on the rise as newer shopping centers replace older ones, and retail space is overbuilt. Called “greyfields,” these empty malls and strip shopping centers have been identified by urban development experts as the 21st century's most pressing environmental and land use challenge.
This document, funded by the US EPA for Manchester, Connecticut’s council of governments’ Sustainable Communities Initiative, uses as an example a local greyfield development challenge: a completely vacant retail center with a vast asphalt parking lot adjacent to a newer retail center and a compromised creek. The site exhibits the environmental issues and land use challenges faced in many developed communities. First, a prototypical mixed-use plan was developed for the site using principles of smart growth. We were then asked to evaluate the design for its ability to support the elements of green urban stormwater management. These elements, conceived of as a system of parts that work together to manage the site's stormwater, are the central focus of this document. Their positive impacts on preserving water resources on the site were quantified using annual rainfall estimates.
My role in the collaboration was researcher, writer and illustrator. Completed at WRT.
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