Monday, March 11, 2013

Infill Philadelphia: Soak it Up!

“It’s about the water… but it’s not only about the water.”

In the aftermath of events like Hurricane Sandy, the public is more conscious of the devastating effects that stormwater can have on our communities.  But to paraphrase one of the presenters at the Infill Philadelphia:  Soak It Up! stormwater design competition last week:  stormwater is a problem; rainwater is an opportunity.

The nine finalists illustrated a number of innovative and elegant solutions that turn the problem of urban stormwater into an opportunity.  By integrating stormwater control infrastructure into the existing community fabric of three disparate settings – industrial, commercial, and neighborhood – these talented designers showed the way for others to follow as Philadelphia makes the transition from a city with a stormwater problem to a green city with clean waters.

The Philadelphia Water Department’s Green City, Clean Waters 25-year plan for a sustainable future includes streets, schools, parks, parking, and much more than just the water. 

And watch the video channel here:

As a member of the awards jury, I was impressed by the designers' creativity in incorporating unique site elements into their designs.  For example, one team built trellis supports with the metal mesh produced by the owner of the industrial warehouse.

Congratulations to the winners:

Industrial: Warehouse Watershed | Leveraging Water + Plants in Zero Lot Sites
Roofmeadow, In Posse, m2 Architecture, Meliora Environmental Design, SED Design, Sere Ltd

Commercial: Retail Retrofit| Stormwater reStore
Urban Engineers, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, Spiezle Architectural Group

Neighborhood: Greening the Grid | Meeting Green
OLIN, Gilmore & Associates, International Consultants, MM Partners, Penn Praxis, SMP Architects

Want to see the winning presentations in person?  You’re in luck:  they will be presenting again at the Academy of Natural Sciences on March 21stClick here for details.

Event partners and sponsors included CH2M Hill, City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Community Design Collaborative, EPA Region 3, McCormick & Taylor, Michael Baker Corporation, Philadelphia Water Department, and Urban Engineers.

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