Chinatown Green Street Demonstration Project

The project comprises the design, installation, and maintenance of a series of vegetated systems to manage stormwater, beautify the public right of way, and enable safe access for all users of all ages and abilities. This project will serve as a model of how to sustainably manage urban stormwater, while showcasing the value landscape architects add to the design process. Led by award winning design team, Design Workshop, the focus is to demonstrate design excellence and public education, while improving the urban environment.


Proposed study area and surrounding reference points developed during 2012 design charrette. Image: Sarah Lewis and Tom Tavella, FASLA

Implementation will be focused on I (Eye) Street, NW, in D.C.’s downtown Chinatown neighborhood, which includes the right of way at ASLA headquarters. The area outside ASLA headquarters on I Street, will include a variety of innovative and artistic design strategies that provide the greatest opportunity for public education and outreach, consistent maintenance and operation oversight, and data collection and monitoring.

Our integrated approach will:

  • maximize opportunities for natural water infiltration and eliminate runoff;
  • exceed the minimum stormwater requirements using innovative technologies;
  • increase the number of street trees and improve planting conditions to ensure healthy tree growth and longevity;
  • and create aesthetically-pleasing streets that are equally as safe and accessible for pedestrians, vehicles, and bicyclists, while enhancing the livability for visitors, workers, and residents.

This block and the surrounding area will serve as case studies for a Sourcebook. Not only are these blocks located in an urban area that faces significant combined sewer outflow issues, but they also contain a variety of contexts; from residential and office space to cultural venues and locations of importance to L’Enfant’s original plans for DC. This study area includes varied levels of use, states of disrepair, and scale for the design team to consider when evaluating green and complete street possibilities.

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