Sustainable Infrastructure Clearinghouse
An ongoing list of innovative and integrative sustainable infrastructure projects from around the world.
This list is a work in progress and will be continually updated. Please contact us if you would like to suggest a project that should be included here, or if you have any thoughts, comments, or updates regarding projects currently listed here.
City of Portland, OR
"The City of Portland is a recognized leader in green stormwater management. The City is home to several award-wining BMP project designs, and its municipal program is highly regarded worldwide. Since the early 1990s, Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) has created a multi-faceted, highly successful program that achieves not only regulatory compliance, but also education, outreach, and community greening and beautification." For more, follow link to WERF.org's Portland as a Case Study
- Green Streets
- Pervious Pavement
- Multifamily Residential Property
- Commercial/Institutional Property
City of Bellevue, WA
"City of Bellevue officials first explored the option of aboveground, natural drainage systems as an alternative to a costly, underground pipe system in 1974. At that time, a decision was made to manage stormwater and flooding using an interconnected system of natural areas and existing drainage features. This decision laid the groundwork for an innovative stormwater management program that meets multiple objectives to control flooding, improve water quality, preserve open space, and provide recreational opportunities." For more, follow link to WERF.org's Bellevue as a Case Study
- Green Infrastructure for Flood Control
- Natural/Low Structural Stormwater Management Systems
- Retrofittting Suburbia: Open Space in Bellevue
City of Seattle, WA
"The City of Seattle's Natural Drainage System (NDS) approach to stormwater retrofitting focuses on the use of highly visible, landscaped street edges to manage stormwater from road surfaces, as well as narrower streets and porous sidewalks that reduce impervious surface area (Seattle Public Utilities, 2007). The system is designed to improve subsurface infiltration of stormwater, allowing natural biological and chemical processes within the soil environment to remove pollutants. NDS is part of a broader approach to urban planning known as green infrastructure, which emphasizes more environmentally sound urban planning and development. In essence, green infrastructure involves design elements that employ natural or innovative processes or design schemes that serve as viable urban development alternatives. Several different NDS designs have been implemented in the City of Seattle, and all are considered effective from a stormwater management standpoint. In addition, all are economically advantageous when compared to traditional stormwater systems (Seattle Public Utilities, no date). NDS projects also meet the approval of public citizens who view the retrofits as amenities with great aesthetic appeal." For more, follow link to WERF.org's Seattle as a Case Study
- CSI's Inaugural Case Study: Barton Combined Sewer Overflow System
- Natural Drainage Systems Program Website (Seattle Public Utilities)
- City Gets Creative with Stormwater (Seattle Post-Intelligencer article)
- Broadview Green Grid Plants List (PDF)
Transportation and Energy
SolaRoad, a road covered with energy-generating solar panels, is scheduled to be installed on several miles of bicycle path in the town of Krommenie in northern Holland in 2012.
Road Energy Systems ® is a solar-heat-storing asphalt developed by Ooms Avenhorn Holding BV,a Dutch company. The stored solar energy can be used for many purposes, such as heating and cooling buildings and homes.
KinergyPower, an American company, has developed a way to capture kinetic energy from weight and momentum of decelerating traffic and convert it into electricity. KinergyPower uses this motion and transforms the captured hydraulic pressure into the power to run a hydraulic generator unit, which produces electricity.Water Infrastructure
A water-catching basin, which can store street runoff and water street trees, is an effective way to conserve water. In addition, curb cutting allows more street runoff to be harvested in the basins or sidewalk strip.
The project took about 27 months to construct and cost about $346 million. It involved the demolition of 3.4 miles of elevated structures which helped in the formation of a new 3.5 mile long watercourse and river bed. The construction of 22 new bridges dramatically improved the overall multi-modal mobility across the corridor. Overall, over 3.6 miles of the corridor has been landscaped.
The SE Clay Green Street Project identifies improvements along the 12 block corridor that will manage stormwater through green streets, enhance east/west pedestrian and bicycle connections, and increase the urban street tree canopy while maintaining the business and freight needs of the industrial district. The plan calls for installing 23 green street facilities to manage runoff from approximately 2 acres of roadway, planting 96 new street trees, educational artwork, new pedestrian ramps, and innovative bike striping.
Follow the link to view a video detailing the story of how Clean Water Services of Washington County, OR decided to restore natural areas along the Tualatin River – a decision that saved their community over $100 million while helping to reduce atmospheric CO2.Cross-Cutting Infrastructure and Urban right of way design
The street was transformed into one of the most sustainable and livable streets in the downtown area in 2009, one year after the city decided to relocate the bus system’s hub one block. Now the streetscape has 102 trees, 4,249 shrubs and perennials and all LED lights.
San Francisco’s new Pavement to Parks projects seek to temporarily reclaim these unused swathes and quickly and inexpensively turn them into new public plazas and parks.
Barangaroo is a great opportunity to showcase Sydney as a world leader in sustainability. Sustainable designs and initiatives are being created throughout the delivery of the program - environmentally, socially and economically.
Hammarby Sjostad is a district in Stockholm, Sweden adjacent to the downtown, which is a brownfield site that is being developed as a sustainable neighborhood. Previously an industrial waterfront, planning for the redevelopment of the site began in 1996. The 2004 Olympic bid was incorporated into the site’s redevelopment, however after Sweden did not receive the bid, the city shifted its development focus to building a sustainable community that is twice as efficient as a typical one
Located at the northeastern part of Singapore. Under the “Punggol 21” plan, this new waterfront town is on its way to become Singapore’s New-age town filled with residential HDB flats, Condominiums, recreational facilities and a waterfront living center. Sengkang New Town is right beside Punggol.
Dockside Green is a 15-acre urban development committed to creating a well-loved, culturally vital neighbourhood where the mix of people and environment fuels health and a vibrant local economy.Community Gardens
Two community gardens utilizing abandoned rail-road right-of-ways, both located in Vancouver B.C.
The community garden on Quesada Avenue extends from Third Street on the east to Newhall Street on the west. It is located in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood, a disadvantaged neighborhood in the southeastern part of San Francisco.
The traffic circle at the intersection of two local streets in the Southside neighborhood of Berkeley, Carleton Street and Ellsworth Street, not only calms traffic but grows edible plants.Ecosystem Services
With a conservative approach, considering natural capital as a shortlived economic asset – something that depreciates over time, like a bridge or road, Central Puget Sound’s minimum natural capital asset value is shown to be between $328 billion and $825 billion. However, unlike built capital, our open space is largely self-sustaining, renewable, and long-lived. Furthermore, as the region continues to grow, our open space resources will increase in value due to their greater scarcity.
In recent years, Pierce County has adopted one of the most progressive flood risk reduction strategies in the U.S., establishing a strong regulatory structure to keep new development out of harm’s way. While past construction has left a legacy of structural issues preventing sustainable flood management and buildings at high risk of flooding, actions to remedy these problems have been identified and are being pursued.Other great projects
Doing good while doing time—that’s the SPP mantra. We encourage everyone in our community, including incarcerated men and women, to act as ambassadors for scientific, environmental, and pro-social practices.Reports, Directives, and Studies
UN funded sustainable development projects.
The following report contains a series of case studies that analyze how local and national developments have either successfully implemented sustainable principles, or encountered obstacles that prevented the implementation of sustainable principles
This report documents a collaborative Water Utility Climate Alliance effort, the Piloting Utility Modeling Applications (PUMA) project. The PUMA project was an effort to produce actionable science through close collaboration between climate experts and utility personnel to meet the needs of four water utilities. Instead of asking climate experts what they thought utilities should do regarding climate change, four WUCA utilities agreed to forge partnerships with scientific institutions to explore how to integrate climate considerations into their specific management context.
The purpose of this study is to quantify the economic, environmental, and social impacts collectively generated through this collaborative model since its establishment. The impacts of this collaborative model have been calculated primarily by using economic modeling tools and applying ecosystems service models to the environmental impacts of co-locator projects.