Manual for using green streets to managed stormwater runoff in the City of Philadelphia.
(2014) Developed and published by the Philadelphia Water Commission, Philadelphia Streets and the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities. The Green Streets Design Manual provides design standards and procedural guidance for developing green streets that manage stormwater runoff. Philadelphia contains over 2,500 miles of streets that produce large quantities of polluted stormwater runoff. Green stormwater infrastructure projects on streets, or simply “green streets,” manage this stormwater to minimize the amount of pollutants that reach our waterways during rain storms. As we witness the effects of climate change causing storms of greater frequency and severity, the green infrastructure we build on our streets is an added safeguard that can help mitigate flash flooding during such events.
Green streets also increase the safety and walkability of our streets and beautify our city. Vegetated bump-outs improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and stormwater tree trenches and planters create lush streetscapes. All of these green street practices improve air quality and minimize the urban heat island effect by reducing pavement and adding greenery. With green streets, we can show how we’ve taken buried wealth—money that would have been spent on building underground pipes—and brought it to the surface to create dynamic public infrastructure.