Category for Green Infrastructure

Case Studies
Harvesting Rain Water for Irrigation
Tucson, AZ
beautify streetscape, 
build community, 
improve environment, 
reduce health disparities, 
slow traffic, 


Tucson is located in the Sonoran Desert where it receives an average of 12 inches of rainwater per year. The City’s effort to promote water conservation and efficient use of water resources have resulted in Tucson’s average per capita residential water consumption being generally less than 112 gallons per day. That’s far below average rates in other parts of Arizona and in the western United States (City of Tucson).

Left: A 50mm graywater diversion valve. Sink basin to the right always drains to the sewer, while greywater from sink basin to left can be directed to the landscape or sewer with the valve Source: Brad Lancester Right: Graywater irrigating trees and shrubs Source: Art Ludwig

Graywater can be a good source of irrigation water. In 2007, the state provided a tax credit of up to $1,000 for homeowners who install graywater systems (Feldman 2011). In 2008, Mayor and Council voted to require all new residences to be built with graywater capabilities. Beginning in June 2010, all new single family homes and duplexes were required to include plumbing for future graywater distribution. The city also provides manuals and guidelines to educate the public and to help install graywater facilities.

Curb cuts images and dimensions Source: Brad Lancester

Brad Lancaster, a founder of the Desert Harvester, creatively found a way of harvesting rainwater—by cutting out a part of a curb and creating a water-catching basin around native plants. When he and his brother bought a house in the neighborhood in the 1990s, there were no trees or vegetation gardens. This also caused runoff on the street when it rained. With the neighbors’ and the city’s participation, now the street is filled with vegetation and large shade trees.

 Before and after rainwater harvesting Source: Brad Lancester

A water-catching basin, which can store street runoff and water street trees, is an effective way to conserve water. In addition, curb cutting allows more street runoff to be harvested in the basins or sidewalk strip. This is also a way to prevent storm water runoff pollution into waterways. In the desert area like Tucson, if a proper basin is provided, native plants, such as, Mesquite, Acacia, and Ironwood trees, can grow and produce edible flowers and seeds without additional watering.

Ideally, the diameter of the basin should be 1.5 to 3 times wider than the diameter of the mature canopy of the tree planted within it, because the roots uptake the majority of the harvested moisture beyond the drip line of their canopy. If there is not enough room to make a wide basin, a small basin or a number of small basins spread out around the plant is recommended. A building roof is a great source of additional runoff that can be harvested within the basin.

University Blvd/ 9th Ave. intersection mural. Note the traffic circle reduced the intersection's pavement by 26%. As the circle is in the raised crown of the road the raised curb acts as a berm eliminating water loss from the circle to runoff Source: Brad Lancester

Increasing the number of rain gardens is another way to conserve water. In the Dunbar/Spring neighborhood, the residents petitioned the City of Tucson to build a traffic circle to slow down vehicles and capture more rainwater. Now there are several traffic circles in the neighborhood, which become a common space through special care of the community. In particular, there are traffic circles at every intersection on 9th Avenue in the Dunbar/Spring neighborhood between Speedway Boulevard and 6th Street. Each traffic circle is taken care of by the residents living at the corner, growing various edible plants with street runoff. Sometimes traffic circles also become a social gathering place. At University Boulevard and 9th Avenue, a community event was held to create an intersection mural.

Adopted from: Desert Harvesters

Lessons Learned
Potential Benefits:

  • Conserves water by reusing street runoff as a source of irrigation water.
  • Prevents storm water runoff pollution into waterways.
  • Saves money on water bills for households.
  • Grows native plants without additional watering when a proper water-catching basin is installed.
  • Provides a better access to food for residents in the desert area by enabling them to grow edible plants.

Potential Issues:

  • Neighborhood buy-in: Community participation is important to maintain the plants on the street.
  • City support: Cutting curb and installing traffic circles require the city’s permission. Regulations should also be provided to encourage the planting of native species.
  • Food-producing plants: Graywater surface irrigatation or street runoff should not be used to irrigate any plants that produce food, except for citrus and nut trees.
  • Detergent use: When graywater is used for plant irrigation, care must be taken with detergent use (e.g., low sodium, no boron, no chlorine, low alkalinity).
  • Basins: Basins should be installed before planting trees and should be an appropriate size and depth.
  • Sensitive plants: Graywater should not be used on plants that are salt sensitive or need acidic soils.


Desert Harvesters, “Water Harvesting” (

Feldman, Amy, 2011. “In Tucson, Saving the Bath Water Too,” Time. (,28804,2026474_2026675_2055576,00.html)

City of Tucson, “Using Gray Water” (

Photo Sources

MIG, Inc.

Case Studies
Kinetic Energy Power
Welland, Ontario, Canada


KinergyPower, an American company, has developed a way to capture kinetic energy from weight and momentum of decelerating traffic and convert it into electricity. KinergyPower uses this motion and transforms the captured hydraulic pressure into the power to run a hydraulic generator unit, which produces electricity. The technology will be best employed where buses, trains, or other vehicles are breaking heavily, such as at bus or train terminals, intersections, curved sections of highways, school zones and parking lots. It is modular in design including "bumps" (like speed bumps), "carpets", "rails", and "pads" for pedestrians.

When a car is being operated, not all the energy generated from the fuel it uses goes to running the car. In fact, some energy is used and other energy is lost. Idling, braking, and accessories, such as radios, heaters, etc., all require some amount of the vehicle’s energy. KinergyPower harvests its energy from rolling resistance, and the deceleration and braking processes.

When a vehicle is in operation, the energy that it uses is expended as follows:
62.4%is used to propel the vehicle
17.2%is used in idling or standing by
5.8%goes to braking
5.6%driveline losses (ie., engine lubrication, etc)
4.2%rolling resistance
2.6%aerodynamic resistance due to the design of the vehicle
2.2%from accessory use within the vehicle

(Source: Fuel Economy)

KinerBumps are an above-ground product designed to replace existing speed bumps. They can be used in areas where traffic normally has to slow down to a stop, such as bus stops, school zones, controlled access parking lots, drive-through windows, and intersections. KinerBumps harvest the energy from existing traffic so that it can be used to run nearby electrical signage or street lights. They are also available in a portable design so that this Smart Bump can be moved to different locations if necessary.

A KinerBump with a height of 3.5 inches and a travel length of 13 feet, with an additional 6.5 feet at the entrance and exit, produces 77 kWh of electricity per day when 10,000 cars go over it, assuming vehicle weights of 1,500kg. The average life of a KinerBump with regular maintenance is currently projected to be 10 years.

KinerBumps were temporally installed at the Walland Transit Center in June 2010. Niagara College and Brock University have helped collect data and monitor the results.

(Links to video clips of test prototypes in use:!)

 KinergyPower Carpet Source: Kinergy Power

KinergyPower Carpets are a larger and longer length product designed for in-ground installations. Its greater length can accommodate more pistons of a greater diameter, harvesting more energy than the KinerBump unit. KinergyPower Carpets are ideally suited for use in bus depots, travel centers, toll plazas, port locations, and commercial distribution facilities.

KinergyPower Energy Carpet installed on 50 meters and traveled on by 250 cars a day or 10 trucks a day for one year will produce enough electricity to power one home for one year A Bus Depot with traffic level of 1000 buses can harvest enough electricity to power 31 homes for one year
Energy Produced
One KinergyPower Carpet placed to receive 10,000 vehicles per day will produce 51 kWhThe same KinergyPower Carpet placed in the path of 10,000 trucks per day will produce 1232 kWh

 KinerRail Source: Kinergy Power

KinerRail, still in the research and development phase, is designed to be placed within the train rails to harvest energy from the passing traffic of trains of all types.

KinerPad generates energy through pedestrian traffic. When the KinerPad is depressed by weight of the individual or individuals walking on it, the unit uses the energy gathered to illuminate the pad.

KinerPad Source: Kinergy Power

While the KinerPad unit does not generate the substantial amounts of energy, it can provide illumination in dark walkways and other areas where lighting and safety are a concern, and can be used in multiples in fun, kinetic, interactive art installations.

Adopted from: Kinergy Power

Lessons Learned

Potential Benefits:

  • Produces electricity at a fraction of the cost of traditional energy sources.
  • Emits no pollutants.
  • Generates no hazardous waste.
  • Uses no water and no fuel.
  • Harvests energy regardless of the weather.
  • Can be employed where buses, trains, vehicles are breaking heavily, such as bus or train terminals, intersections, curved sections of highways, school zones, and parking lots.
  • Potential Issues:

    • ????
    • ????


    Fuel Economy. “Fuel Economy: Where the Energy Goes” (

    Kinergy Power (

    Photo Sources

    MIG, Inc.

Case Studies
SolaRoad Bike Lane
Krommenie, The Netherlands
beautify streetscape, 
build community, 
improve environment, 
reduce health disparities, 
slow traffic, 


 Image of SolaRoad Source: ©TNO 2011

SolaRoad, a road covered with energy-generating solar panels, is scheduled to be installed on several miles of bicycle path in the town of Krommenie in northern Holland in 2012. TNO, a Dutch company who developed the SolaRoad, is working with the Province of North Holland, the consulting firm Ooms Averhorn Group, and the technology firm Intech, on this pilot program, hoping to expand the project throughout the country after a 5-year testing period.

 Image of SolaRoad Source: ©TNO 2011

SolaRoad consists of concrete panels (1.5 by 2.5 meters) with embedded thick crystal silicon solar cells, covered by a toughened glass surface. The smart ICT applications will maximize energy retention during peak sunlight times and efficiently store it during low-light periods. The energy produced from the road will be used to power streetlights, stoplights, and household appliances. It is estimated that the Dutch road network is comprised of 85,000 miles of roadway with the potential for generating 54 kWh per square yard. The pilot study will determine how the energy will be used and how smart ICT applications can enable the energy produced in peak sunlight periods to be distributed as efficiently as possible during the periods of little or no light.

A solar-powered roadway Source: Solar Roadways

Proposed US Solar Roadway

A solar-powered roadway is an idea of Scott Brusaw, a 53-year-old electrical engineer in tiny Sagle, Idaho. It is made from super-strong glass, instead of conventional asphalt or concrete. Solar cells inside its glass surface allow the roadway to act as a solar power generator. Electricity generated by the highway could be used to recharge electric vehicles and to power lights and LED warning signs along the road itself (Ligget 2010).

Solar Powered Road Studs, UK

Solar powered road studs automatically illuminates from dusk to dawn with its built in solar-powered light-emitting diode (LED). The studs deliver greater visibility of the road layout ahead, and thus have reduced road accidents by over 70% at their UK installation sites (Astucia).

Lessons Learned
Potential Benefits:

  • Generates sustainable electricity.
  • Minimizes the need for space for electricity generation and transmission.
  • Reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Can be applied to bicycle paths, arterial roads, or highways to generate energy.

Potential Issues:

  • Under development: Engineering, material selection, energy distribution, (social) business model and user criteria (safety, comfort) are still in the process of development. The pilot study began with a bicycle path because there are fewer traffic needs and requirements.
  • Needed criteria: More criteria are needed for stiffness and maintenance (TNO).
  • Cost: SolaRoad is profitable in 5-8 years in the Netherlands and in 4-5 years in southern Europe.


Astucia. “SolarLite Embedded Flush Studs” (

Cardoni, Salvatore, 2011. “Coming to Krommenie, Holland: Solar-Paneled Bicycle Paths” (

Davies, Alex, 2011. “Dutch To Build Solar Panels Into Their Roads, Starting With Bike Lanes.”

Liggett, Britt, 2010. “Energy Generating, Self-Heating Solar Roadway Unveiled” (

TNO. “SolaRoad Combines Road and Solar Cells” (

Treehugger (

Photo Sources

MIG, Inc.

Case Studies
Solar Roadway
Waarland, The Netherlands
beautify streetscape, 
build community, 
improve environment, 
slow traffic, 


Winter and summer application Source: Ooms Avenhorn Groep

Road Energy Systems ® is a solar-heat-storing asphalt developed by Ooms Avenhorn Holding BV,a Dutch company. The stored solar energy can be used for many purposes, such as heating and cooling buildings and homes. Water is run through pipes under the asphalt and heated from the warmth of the road. This heated water is then pumped underground and stays warm at 68 degrees F. The water can be sent to nearby houses, and this water can be pulled up to prevent ice from building up on the road during winter months. Moreover, carbon dioxide emissions from using fossil fuels are reduced.

RES construction Source: Ooms Avenhorn Groep

A test demonstrated the great potential of this technology. One test patch—200 yards of road and a small parking lot— generated enough heat for 70 apartments in a four-story building. This occurred under the typical cloudy Dutch weather with only a few days a year of sweltering temperatures (Blanco 2008).

In Waarland, Netherlands, the Road Energy Systems ® (RES) was combined with a d'Waert housing project in 2009. Thirty-five houses use the heating and cooling system generated by the RES collector. This collector also serves as an energy supplier for the entire neighborhood (De Peyler).

RES construction Source: De Peyler

Lesson Learned
Potential Benefits:

  • Provides economic and environmental benefits in the neighborhood.
  • Generates clean electricity, eliminating the need for fossil fuels and preventing global climate change.
  • Eliminates energy losses and transmission costs.
  • Increases the durability of roads since the temperature-regulated pavements prevent rutting damage (Patterson 2011).

Houses using RES Source: De Peyler

Potential Issues:

  • Upfront cost: The pipes and solar road system double the cost of building the road, but payoff can be expected within 5-6 years (TNO 2011).
  • Surface maintenance: There is concern about the system’s ability to support the weight and wear and tear of asphalt.
  • Bumper-to-bumper traffic: Energy collection effectiveness is unknown in bumper-to-bumper traffic conditions.
  • Financial and political barriers: The lack of revenue sources result in reluctance of federal and state government support (Patterson 2011).


De Peyler. “Bike Path as an Energy Supplier” (

Ooms Avenhorn Groep (

Blanco, Sebastian, 2008. “In Future, the Road Heats You - Solar Energy Stored in Asphalt” (

Patterson, Thom, 2011. “Solar-powered 'Smart' Roads Could Zap Snow, Ice” CNNTech. (

TNO, 2011. SolaRoad Presentation. (

Photo Sources

MIG, Inc.

Case Studies
Portland Green Street Program
Portland, OR
beautify streetscape, 
build community, 
improve environment, 
reduce health disparities, 
slow traffic, 


 Green Streets Tour Map Source: City of Portland

Portland is a leader in using strategies that manage storm water runoff, enhance community and neighborhood livability, and strengthen the local economy. A street that uses vegetated facilities to manage storm water runoff at its source is referred to as a Green Street. A Green Street is a sustainable storm water strategy that meets regulatory compliance and resource protection goals by using a natural systems approach to manage storm water, reduce flows, improve water quality and enhance watershed health.

In April 2007, the Portland City Council approved a Green Street resolution, report, and policy to promote and incorporate the use of Green Street facilities in public and private development.

A green street retrofit which manages stormwater at the source through a vegetated swale, while enhancing the neighborhood Source: Google Street View 2012

The council recognizes that a comprehensive Green Street approach is an important development strategy to:

  • Reduce polluted storm water entering Portland’s rivers and streams.
  • Improve pedestrian and bicycle safety.
  • Divert storm water from the sewer system and reduce basement flooding, sewer backups and combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to the Willamette River.
  • Reduce impervious surface so storm water can infiltrate to recharge groundwater and surface water.
  • Increase urban green space.
  • Improve air quality and reduce air temperatures.
  • Reduce demand on the city’s sewer collection system and the cost of constructing expensive pipe systems.
  • Address requirements of federal and state regulations to protect public health and to restore and protect watershed health.
  • Increase opportunities for industry professionals.

Adopted from: Portland Green Street Program

Shady Woodland: An informally arranged planting design using native and ornamental plants Source: City of Portland

A critical piece of the City’s pioneering effort on green streets is public education. The City uses signage, tours, art displays, workshops, meetings, newsletters, fact sheets, fun outreach tools and events, and school lessons and tours. The city also encourages private participation in the development and implementation of the Green Street solutions.

Green Street Guiding Principles

  1. Manage storm water runoff both at the source and the surface.
  2. Use plants and soil to slow, filter, cleanse, and infiltrate runoff.
  3. Design facilities that aesthetically enhance the community.

Types of Green Streets

 Grasses: A massed planting design that emphasizes the fine textures, year round structure and color variation of grasses Source: City of Portland

  • Storm water curb extension: Extending into the street, storm water curb extensions transform the curb lane into a landscape area. Curb extensions can conveniently integrate a ramp for safe pedestrian crossing.
  • Storm water street planter: Storm water street planters between the sidewalk and the curb work well in areas with limited space, and they allow for adjacent street parking or travel.
  • Rain gardens: Where there is plenty of space, rain gardens are ideal. They can also transform awkward street intersections into safe pedestrian and bicycle crossings.
  • Simple Green Street: Excavating an existing planting area behind a reinforced curb, making curb cuts for inflow and outflow, and landscaping with appropriate vegetation is a simple approach to capture and treat street runoff.
  • Green Streets tour: Green Streets are implemented all around the city. The illustration below show detail plans (City of Portland).
  1. Portland State University street planters: Managing storm water runoff from the street through vegetated planters for flow and water quality benefit.
  2. NE 35th Place and Siskiyou Street curb extension swales: A green street retrofiw, which manages storm water at the source through a vegetated swale, while enhancing the neighborhood.
  3. NE 313st Avenue and Fremont Street landscaped curb extension: This argay Neighborhood site was retrofitted with a curb extension to manage street runoff.
  4. Glencoe Elementary School rain garden: BES and Portland Public Schools worked in partnership on this project.
  5. SE Division Street New Seasons Market: Landscape planters in sidewalk area take street runoff while beautifying a commercial/retail zone.
  6. Westmoreland permeable pavement project:
  7. N Gay Avenue porous pavement pilot project: pervious asphalt

Planting Design Guidelines (Text and photos from City of Portland):

  • Grasses: A massed planting design that emphasizes the fine textures, year-round structure and color variation of grasses. The deciduous trees and shrubs add more fall color (e.g., California Grey Rush, Dwarf Redtwig Dogwood, Creeping Bramble, Orange Sedge).
  • Shady woodland: An informally arranged planting design using native and ornamental plants (e.g., California Grey Rush, Blue Oat Grass, Boxleaf Euonymus, Sword Fern, Creeping Oregon Grape, Daffodil).
  • Blooming garden: For a more formal, manicured neighborhood setting. The plants are tidy and compact with an emphasis on year-round flower and foliage color. Full sun (e.g., California Grey Rush, Heavenly Bamboo, Little Rascal Holly, Magic Carpet Spirea).
  • Full gold garden: A design that emphasizes year-round structure and color variation of grasses, with a splash of pink flowers in summer. The deciduous trees add fall color. Full sun to partial shade (e.g., California Grey Rush, Gold Fountains Sedge, Gold Flame Spirea).
  • Single species: Narrow, flat-bottom facilities are planted with a single species due to limited space. This creates year-round interest with a bold, simple design of color and texture (e.g., Ice Dance Sedge, Gold Fountains Sedge, California Grey Rush, Slough Sedge, Orange Sedge).
  • Adpoted from: City of Portland
    For more information visit: Green Streets

    Planting Approach

    • Do not plant where vegetation will impede flow into the facility. For example, do not plant directly in front of curb openings, and take care when planting next to the edges where runoff sheet flows into the facility. Consider growth and spread of groundcover over time to reduce potential of blocking inlets.
    • Dense plantings at the time of construction are recommended to:
      • Provide immediate facility function, e.g. slow and detain storm water flow. trap sediments, and infiltrate storm water.
      • Reduce soil erosion.
      • Limit weed growth.
      • Shade the soil and reduce evaporation.
    • Planting a row of juncus species behind the forebay can reduce the migration of sediment into the facility.
    • Avoid planting in summer months to reduce transplant shock and excessive irrigation. Plant in fall or early spring after frost.


    The type and frequency of short-term start up and long-term maintenance can affect plant vigor, growth habit, and facility aesthetics.

    • New facilities will require more frequent maintenance to ensure plant vigor in the first two years after planting. Activities include regular irrigation during dry summer months, controlling weeds before they become established, debris removal, and occasional mulching.
    • Overhead spray irrigation systems can encourage weed growth, given the right conditions, by wetting the entire area. Drip irrigation systems appear to be better alternatives to control water delivery directly to the selected plant.
    • Concentrated sediment deposits, especially from street runoff, should be removed frequently so as not to create conditions that support germination of non-native or undesirable species and so deposits do not smother healthy plants. Frequency will depend on each site.
    • Depending on the selection of plants and the particular constraints of a facility site, large rambling shrubs may require regular pruning or shearing to control their height and spread. This practice can increase vegetative growth.

    Adopted from: 2007 Vegetation Survey Report for Landscaped Storm water Management Facilities, City of Portland

    Lessons Learned

    Potential Benefits

    • Provides clean air and water.
    • Enhances neighborhood livability.
    • Increases community and property values.
    • Enhances pedestrian and bicycle access and safety.
    • Protects valuable surface and groundwater resources.
    • Adds urban green space and wildlife habitat.
    • Helps meet regulatory requirements for pollutant reduction and watershed resource management.
    • Reduces storm water in the sewer system.
    • Saves money on wastewater pumping and treatment costs.
    • Demonstrates that Green Streets can be applied to residential streets, commercial zones, school zones, and parking areas.

    Potential Issues

    • Parking: Depending on the type of facility, parking space can be removed (e.g. curb extensions).
    • Mosquitoes: Green Streets are designed to drain in less than 48 hours to prevent mosquito breeding, but continuous monitoring is necessary.
    • Plant survival: Attention should be given to site characteristics, such as location, solar exposure, and soil type and condition, to provide optimum success for plant survival. To increase survival rates, vegetated facilities must receive proper and consistent irrigation and weed control, especially during the first two years of establishment.
    • City codes: City codes can prohibit use of ornamentals in some areas, such as environmental and greenway zones. Even if native species require little irrigation and no pesticides or fertilizer, native species alone can limit plant diversity.
    • Maintenance: The city needs to regularly monitor facilities. In Portland, Environmental Services maintains Green Streets. Also neighbors’ help is essential to keep the facilities free of litter and leaves.

    Adopted from : City of Portland Q&A:, and 2007 Vegetation Survey Report for Landscaped Storm water Management Facilities


    City of Portland, “Portland Green Street Program” (

    City of Portland, “2007 Vegetation Survey Report for Landscaped Storm water Management Facilities”

    City of Portland, “Green Streets” (

    City of Portland, “Q&A” (

    Photo Sources

    MIG, Inc.

Case Studies
Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN
beautify streetscape, 
improve environment, 
reuse underutilized land, 
slow traffic, 


Deaderick Street is an urban core streetthat serves as a physical connector between the city/county courthouse and the state legislature. This street was a central transfer point for the Metro bus system. It was filled with empty bus shelters, had no trees, and had a storm water and sewage overflow problem. However, the street was transformed into one of the most sustainable and livable streets in the downtown area in 2009, one year after the city decided to relocate the bus system’s hub one block. Now the streetscape has 102 trees, 4,249 shrubs and perennials and all LED lights.

Deaderick Street Source: Google Maps, 2012

Adopted from: Jenny Burns 2009, Nashville Business Journal

Hawkins Partners, Inc., worked with the Office of the Mayor and Metro Public Works to transform the historically and civically significant corridor. Deaderick Street is situated within the Kerrigan Basin, one of Nashville’s Combined Storm Sewer basins, where had overflow problems. The project primarily focused on addressing storm water issues and urban trees. Based on Nashville’s historical rainfall patterns, infiltration rates and variable design factors, it is estimated that over 1.2 million gallons will be removed from the CSO system on an annual basis through this three block urban street (Hawkins).

Deaderick Street Source: Google Maps, 2012

Adopted from: Jenny Burns 2009, Nashville Business Journal

Project Highlights
Who: Metro Nashville Public Works
When: October 2008 to October 2009
General contractor: Roy T. Goodwin Contractors, Nashville, TN
Landscape architect: Hawkins Partners Inc., Nashville, TN
Project budget: Under $5 million ($3.1 million in capital improvement funds)

  • Provided a 700% increase in pervious area (diverting approximately 1.2 million gallons of storm water from the Cumberland River per year).
  • Incorporated bioswales (Rain gardens) at sidewalk level planting areas and at street level to capture, filter and infiltrate rainwater.
  • Used porous concrete used to allow water infiltration through sidewalk to tree root zones.
  • Planted 102 4-inch caliper shade trees, and 4249 shrubs, perennials, sedges, and groundcover plants.
    • Native plants comprise 53% of the species installed.
    • Some healthy, existing street trees were transplanted.
  • Other elements included:
    • Irrigation: low flow nozzles (33% less water), drip system and soil moisture probe.
    • Pedestrian streetlights and guidance signs are LED.
    • LED traffic signals.
    • Solar-powered parking meters.
    • Recycled, crushed concrete used for sub-base for concrete walks.
    • High percentage recycled steel used in pedestrian light poles, tree grates, fence, trash/recycling containers, pedestrian guidance signs.
    • Recycled coal fly ash within the concrete.
    • Bicycle storage facilities.
    • Educational kiosks that explain the benefits of urban trees, rain gardens, and sustainable infrastructure.

Adopted from: City of Nashville (

Deaderick Street Source: Google Maps, 2012

This plan also focused on creating a multipurpose environment that would draw people in. The long-term master plan proposed additional development potential of 40,000 square feet of retail and restaurant uses, 11,000 square feet of office use, and 94 residential housing units. The street can be a venue for occasional events and festivals. The removal of the transit mall reduced average daily traffic volume, creating a more pedestrian-friendly environment and providing more on-street parking. Yet, business owners share differing opinions. There is an increase in tourists with concerts and other events to the street. But some owners said business was better when the bus transit center was there.

Adopted from: Elizabeth Johnson, The Tennessean

Potential Benefits:

  • Promotes sustainable and livable streets through low-impact design.
  • Generates less traffic and thus more pedestrian-friendly environment.
  • Brings tourism money to the downtown area through events and festivals.
  • Prevents water sewage problems.
  • Implements the plan block-by-block to allow as much of the street as possible to remain open during construction.
  • Serves as one of four Tennessee projects to be accepted as pilot projects for The Sustainable Sites Initiative (Johnson 2010).

Potential Issues:

  • Business impact: The relocation of the transit center had a negative impact on businesses in the area.
  • Code and regulation amendments: Amendments may be required to allow more street activities like outdoor dining (Hawkins).


Burns, Jenny, 2009. “Deaderick Hailed as State's First 'Green Street',” Nashville Business Journal (

Green Infrastructure Digest. “Deaderick Street Discussed at StormCon 2010” (

Hawkins, Kim. “Nashville Creates Tennessee's First ‘Green’ Street.” Public Works (

Johnson, Elizabeth, 2010. “Renovated Deaderick Street Enhances Nashville's City Core,” The Tennessean (

Nashville. “Deaderick: Tennessee’s First ‘Green Street’” (

Photo Sources

MIG, Inc.

Green Infrastructure > Best Practices > 10 b
Place green infrastructure near transit stops and other similar destinations.
Green Infrastructure > Best Practices > 10 a
Locate green infrastructure near known community gathering spaces to improve the quality of the streetscape in these areas.
Green Infrastructure > Best Practices > 09 e
Monitor pH and chemical readings to prevent damage to plants.
Green Infrastructure > Best Practices > 09 d
Check the graywater system routinely to prevent it from emitting a foul odor or clogging with debris.


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