Green Infrastructure (GI) is the living network that connects landscape areas, natural areas, and waterways. In urban areas, GI captures rainfall; cools buildings and pavement; and creates natural pathways for wildlife. GI includes Low Impact Development (LID) techniques, which mimic nature to capture and treat stormwater as close to the source as possible.
The “Sustainable DC Plan,” adopted in 2013, sets long-range goals for making the District the greenest city in the nation. The plan calls for increasing green infrastructure in the public right-of-way (ROW) and taking actions to improve the health of the city’s waterways.
The District Stormwater regulations require stormwater volume retention on all major construction projects. Both public and private projects constructing in the ROW are required to retain stormwater to the maximum extent practicable. Designers must examine all uses of public space and place stormwater management where space and use allows.
DDOT is installing Green Infrastructure as part of construction projects and in retrofit projects to reduce stormwater runoff in more areas of the city. Green Street and Green Alley projects utilize GI techniques and may be constructed where watershed and infrastructure improvements are prioritized.
Green Infrastructure practices for streets include:
- bioretention (also called rain gardens)
- street trees
- landscape areas
- permeable pavement
- removing unnecessary paving
When implemented, GI creates living green streets that capture, store, and infiltrate stormwater to treat it as a resource and improve the urban environment.
In 2014, DDOT released the GI Standards which included technical drawings, specifications, design manual, plant list, and maintenance schedules. Below is the DDOT guide “Greening DC Streets,” which summarizes green infrastructure opportunities and constraints in the District.
Please contact [email protected] with any questions or comments about this program.
Green Infrastructure Projects
- Training for Designers and Managers on SWM regulations and GI Standards
- DDOT Maximum Extent Practicable Design Worksheet
- DDOT Stormwater Projects in the Public Right-of-Way
- LID Action Plan
In the News
- Green solutions for the District’s stormwater runoff problem (March 2014)
- D.C. Uses More Green Alleys To Prevent Flooding (July 2012)
- District’s RiverSmart Washington Project Awarded 2012 Vision Award (July 2012)
- Northwest Current: City to pilot stormwater project in Chevy Chase (February 2012)
- D.C. Debuts Green Alleyway Project (December 2011)