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
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. Video - water test demo