Planning Studio

Planning for Equitable Green Infrastructure in Overbrook

Students standing by a poster

PLN 405 & PLN 605 Planning Studio B
Spring 2020

Project Description

The Overbrook Environmental Education Center (OEEC), located in the Overbrook neighborhood of West Philadelphia, is a community-based center dedicated to environmental education, conservation, public health, and personal enrichment. One of the Center's ongoing projects is to promote the use of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) throughout the surrounding community. GSI refers to a range of practices used to manage and mitigate stormwater runoff, typically through the use of vegetated or other "natural" approaches that manage the stormwater so that it either infiltrates into the groundwater or is held back from the sewer system until the initial storm surge has passed.

This project built on a research project developed by Dr. Heckert and collaborators from several other universities to design a planning process to optimize GSI planning for maximum community benefits. The goal was to use the OEEC catchment area as a test case for how to equitably plan for GSI that meets community needs while reducing stormwater runoff.

The two major components to the project included:

1. The Community Benefits Component: Creating a process to determine co-benefits of different forms of GSI - particularly those such as aesthetic and amenity benefits that are more subjective in nature.

2. The Equity Component: Developing a process to determine need - utilizing an index that Dr. Heckert developed with Dr. Christina Rosan from Temple University.

Read more about Project Goals and Objectives: Equitable Green Infrastructure Project Description

Studio Deliverables

Students worked in separate teams to develop two separate reports:

Overbrook Green Infrastructure Community Benefits Report

Overbrook Green Infrastructure Equity Report


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