View More

Seattle street

All About NACTO’s Urban Street Stormwater Guide

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) is a coalition of America’s largest cities committed to building safe, sustainable transportation systems and active cities through better street design and transportation policy. NACTO has established itself as a leader in changing the way our streets operate for people regardless of transportation choice and has assembled... More

Treequake: A seismic shift in San Francisco urban forestry

Starting July 1, 2017, the City of San Francisco will start doing something it hasn’t done since the 1970s: take responsibility for all the trees in the public right-of-way. San Francisco cut funding to urban forestry in the late 1970s, resulting in a handoff of responsibility to adjacent property owners for two thirds of the... More

Revisiting the street trees of Marquette and 2nd

Nearly eight years ago, we installed a large Silva Cell system along 48 blocks of downtown Minneapolis. Called Marquette and 2nd (MARQ2), this green stormwater infrastructure project is in an ultra-urban, mixed-use area that needed to accommodate mass transit, cars, and pedestrians. The designers (SEH and URS) specified Silva Cells for stormwater management in addition... More

Performance metrics for sustainable landscapes

Today’s landscapes are asked to perform much more than functional or aesthetic services: they filter and reduce stormwater runoff, provide wildlife habitat, reduce energy consumption, improve human health, and more. As projects become more complex, and clients aim higher to meet today’s climate challenges, the use of performance metrics is becoming increasingly prevalent.

Silva Cell Research Part 3: Discussion and conclusions

This post is the third in a series of three sharing findings from research conducted on 10 Silva Cell projects across North America. Read part one about study design here and part two about our initial findings here. We’ve already shared some of the initial findings from this study in earlier posts. Today, we’ll discuss... More

The Story of People and Trees: A book review of Jill Jonnes’s “Urban Forests”

We have a long and complex history in our relationship to trees in the built environment. As our ancestors congregated in the “New World” they wanted to open up the canopy to let the light filter down and to be able to grow food. Then, as more people arrived and cities formed, trees were cut... More

The Last Mile: Proper Tree Planting for Successful Projects

After months of design, calculations, and careful planning, construction is starting on your next project. You have spent hours selecting which tree varieties to use, where to place them, and how they will be maintained. Perhaps you have even invested extra time and resources to make sure those trees will have ample soil and water... More

The Realities of Large Tree Moving

When there are existing trees on a development site, moving the tree is often considered as a method of tree preservation. Often the tree is growing in an “inconvenient” location for the project and tree preservation is either desirable, politically expedient, or required by local ordinance. While trees can be moved, there are some realities... More

Silva Cell Research Part 2: A selection of our findings

This post is the second in a series of three sharing findings from research conducted on 10 Silva Cell projects across North America. Read part one, where we discuss the study design, data collection, and raw growth results, here. After designing the study and selecting the Silva Cell projects, we had to decide what performance... More

How to Talk About Low Impact Development

Historically, the work of stormwater engineers has involved capturing rainwater and conveying the flows offsite as quickly as possible. This approach led to the development of a vast system of large, centralized treatment facilities handling millions of gallons of stormwater annually – a very efficient, but not very environmentally-minded solution.