Report
Design Guidelines for Urban Stormwater Wetlands

As the frequency and intensity of storm events continue to increase, the role of stormwater management has expanded in many cities to support urban resilience and meet water quality standards. In arid cities, stormwater can also serve as an important opportunity for alleviating water scarcity. Although constructed wetlands and detention basins have long been used to manage urban stormwater, their design has been largely driven by hydrologic performance alone.

Based on two years of interdisciplinary research at the MIT Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism, a team of planners, designers, and engineers has created an illustrative guide of innovative designs for urban wetlands and ponds that integrate hydrologic, ecologic, and recreational functions for urban designers and landscape architects to use in cities. Based on modular and scalable forms, these designs can be customized for a wide variety of sites, climates, and desired urban design uses.

By merging fluid dynamics, landscape architecture, and urban design, this research project shows how natural treatment systems can be integrated into cities as multifunctional infrastructures to manage flooding, add resilience, improve water quality, enhance biodiversity, and create public amenities.

Read the full report here.

Title
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsGuzman CBalderas, Nepf H, Berger A
Abstract

As the frequency and intensity of storm events continue to increase, the role of stormwater management has expanded in many cities to support urban resilience and meet water quality standards. In arid cities, stormwater can also serve as an important opportunity for alleviating water scarcity. Although constructed wetlands and detention basins have long been used to manage urban stormwater, their design has been largely driven by hydrologic performance alone.

Based on two years of interdisciplinary research at the MIT Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism, a team of planners, designers, and engineers has created an illustrative guide of innovative designs for urban wetlands and ponds that integrate hydrologic, ecologic, and recreational functions for urban designers and landscape architects to use in cities. Based on modular and scalable forms, these designs can be customized for a wide variety of sites, climates, and desired urban design uses.

By merging fluid dynamics, landscape architecture, and urban design, this research project shows how natural treatment systems can be integrated into cities as multifunctional infrastructures to manage flooding, add resilience, improve water quality, enhance biodiversity, and create public amenities.

Read the full report here.