Greening Infrastructure
in the Public Right-of-Way

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Hillary Brown, architect
Stephen Campbell, architect
Steven Caputo, intern architect

In October 2005, the Design Trust for Public Space, together with the City of New York, released the High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines, the product of a two-year investigation, 'Greening Infrastructure in the Public Right-of-Way.' The goal of this program was to develop guidelines for building city streets, sidewalks, infrastructure, and urban landscaping that conserve energy, reduce pollution, and are otherwise more environmentally sustainable.

Three Design Trust fellows, experts in the field of environmental sustainability, worked with New York City's largest building agency, the Department of Design and Construction (DDC), to assemble a range of progressive “best practices” (BMPs) in landscape architecture, civil engineering (roadway/sidewalk paving and subgrade), water, stormwater, and other utility delivery systems.

(In a previous Design Trust project, fellows Hillary Brown and Stephen Campbell worked to create the High Performance Building Guidelines and oversee their initial implementation.)

The best practices outlined in the High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines address air-quality improvement, mitigation of the urban heat island effect, noise pollution, hydrologic disruption from development, ecological and vegetation health, and overall health and quality-of-life opportunities, as well as life-cycle cost effectiveness.

The interdisciplinary emphasis of the guidelines will build new ecological planning skills across New York City's workforce. Ultimately, this program may serve as a template for green infrastructure development across the nation.

© 2012 Design Trust for Public Space, 40 Worth Street, Suite 603, New York NY 10013  212.695.2432