Victoria Meyers architect (hMa) supports major advances that are happening in green and sustainable technologies and practices. These changes have radically altered how people see their relationship to the environment.
Cities everywhere are becoming greener, cleaner and healthier places to live. A major aspect of this change for the better is the 'green streets' movement. Green Streets is a new Landscape Design Initiative to use planted areas to control and clean rain water run-off. It is a more natural approach to controlling storm water run-off that results in islands of Nature within cities.
North End Avenue: Entry to DWi-P Green Roof: Ballfield Terrace. Post: Victoria Meyers architect
Green Streets work by diverting street rainwater run-off from the city's storm/sewer pipe system and manages it on-site using a landscape approach. Once water is within the landscape area, it is retained to a certain depth, often up to 12" deep, by a series of check-dams. Water cascades from one cell to another, until plants and soil absorb the runoff or until the curb extensions reach their storage capacity. The landscape system infiltrates water at a rate of roughly 3 inches per hour. If rain is too intense, water will exit the system, through another curb cut at the end of the curb extension, and flow into the existing street inlets.
These systems have the ability to manage most rain water run off and, through the natural filtration abilities of plants, purifies water that would otherwise go into a storm or, even worse, sewage system.
The City of New York currently diverts all of its rainwater run off into the City's sewage system. hMa applauds Mayor Michael Bloomberg's efforts to 'green' the City by creating hundreds of new pocket parks and greenscapes throughout the five Boroughs. We would like to encourage the City to think about implementing a 'Green Streets' system for the City of New York, perhaps choosing a limited area as a 'demonstration project'.
hMa sees Green Streets as the most important urban innovation since the City Beautiful Movement in the 1890's / 1900's. It is about time that Americans make their cities more natural and, by being more natural, more humane. Green Streets work hand-in-hand with other contemporary design initiatives, including Green Urbanism and Ecological Urbanism.
hMa have been the Master Plan Architects for Battery Park City's North Neighborhood since 1990. In that capacity, they have written design guidelines for over 4 million square feet of Green construction. Under hMa's watch, Battery Park's North Neighborhood developed the first high-rise LEED certified residential tower - the Solaire - in 2003. hMa also were responsible to overview the development of all Parks in the North Neighborhood, where Green Streets principals of water management are currently being actively applied.
To read more about hMa's Master Plan designs, visit our website, www.hanrahanMeyers.com.