Water & Sustainable Land Use

Managing how water travels through aging urban infrastructures is a central environmental problem in many cities. In a number of North American cities, combined sewers handle both everyday wastewater and storm runoff. Problems arise during heavy rainstorms, when the sheer quantities of rainwater can swamp the combined sewers, resulting in overflows (CSOs) that bypass treatment facilities and carry wastewater straight into rivers and streams.

Building bigger pipes is the traditional engineering solution to the problem of urban CSOs, but it does little to address the causes of excessive runoff, and does nothing at all to engage communities in creating greener urban designs. DECI faculty and students are working in cooperation with community members in places like Philadelphia and New York City on infrastructure designs that not only reduce CSOs but also bring green assets to neighborhoods.

And while water is a critical environmental issue in the developed world, it can be a matter of life and death in many developing nations. DECI's work in the city of Leogane in Haiti brings participatory methods to its assessment of post-earthquake water and sanitation status in that city. Working closely with Leogane residents, DECI has facilitated the production of a report outlining Leogane's own priorities for rebuilding hurricane and earthquake damaged water and sanitation infrastructure.


Related projects:

  • Supporting Haitian Infrastructure Reconstruction Decisions With Local Knowledge
  • Forest Infrastructure Tools for Urban Communities – Proposed Activities to Redefine the LIDRA Model
  • Water Quality & Low Impact Urban Development
  • Green Street Gardens and Stormwater Capture: Creating Sustainable City Streets
  • Engineering and Design Services for Green Infrastructure Network in a Pilot Sewershed
  • Northeast Urban Regional Integrated Science Assessment
  • RAPID: Sustainable Stormwater Engineering
  • Monitoring the performance of a stormwater wetland at ABC Carpet & Home site
  • Monitoring setup for a paired watershed study on St. Johns Place & President Street
  • Wetlands and rain gardens for treatment of stormwater entering Meadow Lake, Flushing Meadows Park, Queens
  • Performance Monitoring on the 6th Street green infrastructure corridor
  • Monitoring stormwater capture at the Greenburgh Nature Center
  • RAPID: Supporting Haitian Infrastructure Reconstruction Decisions with Local Knowledge
  • NYCDEP Environmental Benefits Project on Stratford Avenue, Bronx NY
  • Design of a street-end stormwater capture park in Shoelace Park: performance monitoring
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