Green Streets and Parking Lots
Roads and parking lots provide important opportunities for managing stormwater because they constitute as much as 70 percent of the total impervious cover in ultra-urban landscapes. Green streets and green parking lots are designed to mimic drainage patterns of the natural landscape. Pollutants are removed as stormwater runoff flows into landscaped "rain gardens" or swales, where it can soak into the ground as plants and soil filter out pollutants. Green streets and parking lots are designed to convert stormwater from a waste directed into a pipe, to a resource used for watering plants and replenishing groundwater.
Benefits: This innovative approach to stormwater management can also enhance pedestrian and bicycle access and safety, contribute to traffic calming, add urban green space and wildlife habitat, enhance neighborhood livability, increase community and property values, help deepen residents' sense of connection with the natural environment, and control localized flooding and heat island effects.
San Mateo County Sustainable Green Streets and Parking Lots Design Guidebook
Download the full guidebook or individual chapters and pages
Download the full guidebook in book layout format, with updated and revised graphics (note: large file, 52mb)
Winner of Three Awards!
Winner of American Society Of Landscape Architects 2011 Professional Awards,
Honor Award in the Communications Category
Link to ASLA Professional Awards webpage
Link to ASLA magazine, which features San Mateo County on page 137
Two Awards for "Innovation in Green Community Planning:
2009 Award of Excellence, American Planning Association California Chapter
2009 Outstanding Planning Award, American Planning Association California Chapter Northern Section
In 2007, the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG) enthusiastically supported the recommendation from its San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program Technical Advisory Committee to develop this Sustainable Green Streets and Parking Lots Design Guidebook.
The guidebook provides designers, builders, municipal staff, and other interested groups practical and state-of-the-art information on creating low-impact development roadways and parking lots within San Mateo County.
For more information, click on each project below
Funding for these projects and the Green Streets and Parking Lots Design Guidebook was provided by a countywide vehicle registration fee allowed by Assembly Bill 1546 authored in 2004 by the Assembly Member Joseph Simitian, and subsequently extended with Senate Bill 348 in 2008 by Senator Simitian.
View posters about the sustainable streets initiative:
Poster 1:Introduction to sustainable streets and parking lots
Poster 2:Visual simulations of sustainable street opportunities
|Putting Parking Lots To Work, Estuary News, August 2010||Slow It, Spread It, Sink It Estuary News, August 2009|
|Green Streets/Resilient Watersheds, San Francisco Estuary Partnership: Ways that green streets and parking lots protect the bay and delta.|
Green Infrastructure, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Green Roofs, Rainharvesting, Downspout Disconnection, Planter Boxes, Raingardens, Permeable Pavements, Vegetated Swales, Infill and Redevelopment, Green Parking, Green Streets and Highways, Pocket Wetlands, Urban Forestry, Riparian Buffers, and Green Infrastructure Design.
EPA Parking Lot Pervious Surface Study This project will allow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide a scientifically defensible estimate to municipalities on the performance of the three permeable surfaces: porous concrete, porous asphalt, and interlocking concrete pavers.