The Social Feasibility of Roadside Raingardens: A Compendium of Siting, Design and Engagement Tools
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This study is offered as a professional project in collaboration with Seattle Public Utilities, City of Seattle. It examines two fundamental components of urban public infrastructure: roads/public right-of-way space and drainage/stormwater systems. Specifically, it explores the social feasibility of installing green stormwater infrastructure in the public right-of-way of established residential neighborhoods as part of the solution to combined sewer overflows (CSOs). The study articulates how/why strategic siting and sensitive design of roadside bioretention is essential if these projects are to be embraced by residents, and it offers detailed site analysis and potential approaches at three scales: design templates at the raingarden scale, design templates at the block scale, and a phasing plan/siting options at the neighborhood/basin scale. A review of relevant literature on stormwater management in Seattle, WA and current public perception, organizing frameworks for multi-functional landscapes, place attachment, aesthetics and ecological function, and the psychological underpinnings of human well-being contextualize the siting plans and design templates and provide a theoretical lens for the chosen approaches. The study includes a series of draft outreach materials (text and graphics) that may used to facilitate public outreach and engagement efforts and offers suggested process steps for engaging neighborhood residents in site selection and design development.