Low Impact Development
The first hour of urban stormwater runoff generally has a pollution index greater than that of raw sewage. Low Impact Development (LID) is an ecological stormwater management approach modeled after nature: manage rainfall locally through a vegetated treatment network that keeps water onsite. The goal of LID is to sustain a site’s predevelopment hydrologic regime by using techniques that infiltrate, filter, store, and evaporate stormwater runoff close to its source.
Civil engineering’s traditional plumbing offers no ecological services beyond storage, essentially transferring water pollution elsewhere. Indeed, the developed world’s answer to waste and pollution has been to move it around. Conventional pipe-and-pond conveyance infrastructure channels runoff through pipes, catchment basins, and curbs and gutters to a single point.
LID metabolizes nonpoint source pollution from runoff, remediating its deleterious impacts on soil quality and watershed health through distributed treatment landscapes. These treatment landscapes function through a contiguous network of sediment filters, tree box filters, rainwater gardens, bioswales, infiltration basins, and wet meadows to enhance water quality. LID recovers water quality through feedback and self-organizing processes in designed landscapes, presenting a place-bound technology embedded in local climate, soil, plant, and animal communities. LID solutions propose parks, not pipes!
The city and the watershed are distinct systems of flow that generate shape and structure across the landscape to maximize their intrinsic objectives. How can city form fix the watershed?
This plan for a legacy downtown neighborhood recovers the full spectrum of land uses to meet the daily needs of its residents at all income levels with varying mobility needs.
A pocket neighborhood is an identifiable cluster of houses around shared outdoor commons and infrastructure.
This manual is designed for those involved in urban property development, from homeowners, to institutions, developers, designers, cities, and regional authorities.
The revitalization plan begins with selective aggregations of affordable housing ($100K units) around two neighborhood parks: one existing and one proposed.
Planning leverages urban and ecological services in the porch, yard, street, and open space. Neighborhoods are developed as sub-watersheds.
The Habitat for Humanity neighborhood is designed as a sponge to work in accord with existing hydrological drainage, catchment, and recharge patterns.