A Solution for Urban Storm flooding

Climate change and increasing urbanization of populations are intensifying the impacts of stormwater flooding. Existing urban infrastructure often exacerbates the risks of flooding due to aging or inadequate systems for handling excess water as well as the replacement of natural ecosystems, that helped absorb flooding, with pavement and structures. Without large investments in stormwater treatment plants and infrastructure, cities have seen leeching of surface pollutants - trash, heavy metals, industrial chemicals - to surrounding bodies of water and loss of fresh water, both potable and gray, sources.

In a new freely available report, Design Guidelines for Urban Stormwater Wetlands, our interdisciplinary team provides guidelines for combining engineering, urban planning, and landscape architecture to design versatile urban green spaces, capable of managing stormwater while also enhancing local ecosystems and providing recreational spaces for the community.

The team included Heidi Nepf (Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering); Alan Berger (Leventhal Professor of Advanced Urbanism and Co-Director of the LCAU); Celina Balderas Guzman (MCP '13 and Doctoral Student at the University of California, Berkeley)Tyler Swingle (MIT MArch Candidate); Waishan Qiu (MCP MCP '17); Manoel Xavier (Visiting Student and member of the Nepf Lab at MIT);  Samantha Cohen (SB '11 and MCP '17); Jonah Susskind (DUSP Lecturer and a researcher at the LCAU).

Read more about the team's two year research effort and their publications in Greta Friar's MIT News coverage, here.

Image credit: Jonah Susskind