Project Type: Community Greening and Green Infrastructure
Principal Investigator: Mahbubur R. Meenar, PhD, Assistant Director, Center for Sustainable Communities, Temple University, firstname.lastname@example.org, 267-468-8314
Research Team Members: Lynn Mandarano, PhD, Jeffrey Featherstone, PhD, Richard Fromuth, PE
Research Associates: Sanjana Ahmed, M.Arch., Jason Hachadorian
Research Assistants: Daniel Bramhall, Jamie Magaziner, Christine Thomas
Community Partners: Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM), New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC), Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, Inc. (TTF)
Abstract: Temple University’s Center for Sustainable Communities proposed a framework for developing a Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) plan through a participatory Geodesign process and then applied the framework in Delaware Direct and Tookany/Tacony-Frankford watersheds, both of which are characterized as “ultra-urban” and are subject to a number of socio-economic and environmental issues, including poverty and vacant housing, impaired water quality, ecological degradation, flooding, and poor stormwater management. The Project Team created a conceptual GSI plan for the study area and visualized three specific GSI project site plans, followed by three design charrettes conducted in three lower-income and minority neighborhoods. The innovative GSI design features submitted to the Soak It Up design competition were used as inspiration and guidance at the charrettes. Addressing water quality issues through GSI projects and watershed-wide plans has been identified as a community priority in the study area. Three nonprofit organizations served as key partners with specific roles. Other partners provided advisory, advocacy, and other relevant services. The team proposed six distinct activities: development of a typology of GSI design features, GIS-based site suitability analysis for potential GSI projects in the watersheds, comparative assessment and selection of GSI project sites, visioning GSI projects through design charrettes, development of a conceptual GSI plan, and three detailed site-specific GSI project visualizations. The project outputs were disseminated through web sites, videos, papers, and presentations. The process is expected to increase community involvement and environmental stewardship and is replicable in other urban areas.