Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Redevelopment in Philadelphia


This research project aims to evaluate the role that GSI has in the redevelopment approval process (and subsequently, PWD’s role), and how the approval process can be better streamlined to allow for GSI integrations in the early stages of redevelopment project planning. Our output will be a detailed and illustrative white paper that will feature an infographic detailing and explaining the process to be used for advocacy and evaluating aspects that may be convoluted or redundant, as well as what might be missing. In addition to evaluating this process, the document will explore the roles that zoning requirements and codes have on selection of or lack thereof of vegetated SMPs, as well as benchmarking the current state of GSI SMPs as outcomes of the Green City, Clean Waters plan.

We seek to address and answer the following research questions:

  • How does the actual redevelopment experience differ from that which is codified? Wha are developers’ perceptions of the current approval process and how GSI is integrated?
  • What are the ways in which developers approach the redevelopment process and how (if at all) does this vary based on type of development (residential, commercial, mixed use, affordable housing, etc.)?
  • What are the main touch points with the City (i.e. which departments depending on project type, location, etc.)?
  • What are the main incentives to incorporate vegetated SMPs into redevelopment projects?
  • Are there any redundancies or conflicting elements during stages of the redevelopment approval process?
  • How do landscaping requirements intersect with GSI requirements if at all?
  • How does the redevelopment process integrate with larger City objectives?
  • How could it allow for more equitable development and distribution of GSI?
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