The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission

on Monday, October 1, 2012 |

The Philadelphia Water Department, US Environmental Protection Agency, and Community Design Collaborative are pleased to announce the launch of Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up!—a design initiative that explores how green stormwater infrastructure can revitalize urban neighborhoods.

Green stormwater infrastructure copies natural systems by intercepting rainwater during heavy storms and allowing it to filter back into the soil, evaporate into the air, or refresh wetlands or streams. It’s especially critical to Philadelphia because it is the key strategy behind Green City, Clean Waters, the City's innovative and environmentally-sustainable plan to improve the health of our local waterways.

“As we evolve Philadelphia into America's most sustainable and green city, the opportunities ahead will be limited only by the confines of our imaginations and the extent of our determination,” says Howard Neukrug, Commissioner of the Philadelphia Water Department.

“Philadelphia is an early adopter of green stormwater infrastructure on a large scale and Green City, Clean Waters serves as a potential model for other cities,” says EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin.
“Our partnership with Philadelphia represents EPA's firm commitment to encourage, support and assist municipalities that adopt green infrastructure to improve both water quality and the sustainability of their communities.”

Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! will host exhibitions, talks, design charrettes, and a national design competition to explore the growing kit of green infrastructure tools—cisterns, rain gardens, green roofs, and more—and their potential to enhance the built environment, health and social and economic vitality of Philadelphia and other older American cities. These programs and events will give designers, developers, property owners, policy makers, and community leaders the opportunity to see, discuss, and put green infrastructure tools into practice with a special focus on retrofitting existing buildings and sites.

“In our work, we’ve already seen how designing with green stormwater infrastructure can transform a park, a block, or even an entire neighborhood,” says Beth Miller, executive director of the Community Design Collaborative. “Infill Philadelphia: Soak it Up! will help produce greater awareness, advocacy, and collaboration around green tools—and the next wave of green projects in the city.”

Key Dates
September 17 – October 19, 2012
Center for Architecture| 1216 Arch Street | Philadelphia, PA 19107

Thursday, October 4, 2012, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Center for Architecture | 1216 Arch Street | Philadelphia, PA 19107

Registration: October 4 – November 30, 2012

About the Partners
Philadelphia Water Department serves the Greater Philadelphia region by providing integrated water, wastewater, and stormwater services. One of the utility's primary missions is to sustain and enhance the region's watersheds and quality of life by managing wastewater and stormwater effectively.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency protects human health and the environment. To achieve its mission, the agency develops and enforces regulations, gives grants, studies environmental issues, sponsors partnerships, reaches people about the environment, and publishes information.
Community Design Collaborative is a community design center that provides pro bono preliminary design services to nonprofit organizations, offers unique volunteer opportunities for design professionals, and raises awareness about the importance of design in community revitalization.

About the Programs
Infill Philadelphia was created by the Community Design Collaborative to help urban communities re-envision their neighborhoods, leverage their assets, and address the practical concerns of specific sites and the surrounding community. The initiative uses interactive, design-centered programs and events to bring together design practitioners, community development experts, policymakers, funders, and the media to collaborate on urban infill development—a key revitalization strategy in Philadelphia and other older American cities.

SOAK IT UP, PHILLY! is an outreach campaign of the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) to celebrate Green City, Clean Waters, the City's innovative and environmentally-sustainable approach to improving the health of our local waterways primarily through green stormwater management. By soaking up rainwater where it lands, keeping it out of sewer pipes and ensuring that our rivers and streams are clean and safe, we can transform our neighborhoods and City into a place where all want to live, work and play. SOAK IT UP, PHILLY! builds awareness about PWD’s green approach and engages citizens in the use of green tools on their properties and in their communities to help improve our waterways and urban landscape.