Philadelphia Water Department Releases Green Streets Manual

In late February, the Philadelphia Water Department released a Green Streets Design Manual to expedite green street development in Philadelphia. Promoting green streets aligns with the City of Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters initiative to achieve federal water quality mandates by managing stormwater with green infrastructure. The manual provides detailed design templates that are flexible enough to be applied in a variety of urban street conditions. It outlines the types of practices that are appropriate on various street typologies, provides standardized design details, and lays out the necessary design review and construction inspection processes.

In essence, the manual provides a standardized “playbook” for incorporating green infrastructure elements into street construction and rebuilding activities across the city. Adding green elements, such as tree trenches, planters, and bump-outs could improve pedestrian traffic and help manage runoff from the city’s 4023 km (2500 mi) of streets. Green street initiatives also offer opportunities for interagency collaboration between the city and the Philadelphia Water Department.

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