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Downtown Burlington College Street Green Infrastructure Plan

Burlington, Vermont

Urban Rain Design worked with Watershed Consulting Associates to complete a bold conceptual green infrastructure retrofit plan in downtown Burlington, Vermont that not only addresses the water quality issues along Lake Champlain, but also promotes placemaking and complete street strategies within the downtown core. While most of Burlington’s downtown area is served by a combined sewer system, a 23-acre area drains to a separate stormwater outfall, the “College Street Outfall”, and discharges to the vibrant Burlington Waterfront.  The design team was asked to provide a “toolbox” of green infrastructure strategies, a multi-phased conceptual plan build-out scenario, and a cost-benefit analysis for the widespread use of green infrastructure stormwater facilities throughout the downtown project area. The final proposed design solutions included a collection of stormwater curb extensions, terraced planter boxes, rain gardens, street trees, green gutters, and urban park space designed to manage stormwater runoff from streets, parking lots, and buildings that will help create a new, enhanced, and sustainable identity to downtown Burlington.  It was important to demonstrate to the City of Burlington and the various project stakeholders that green infrastructure and complete street strategies could be realized in incremental steps within the downtown core. The concept plan was created to be flexible visioning tool show that when redeveloped occurred or if there were needs to upgrade private and public open space, there would be a plan in place to guide the efforts. Kevin Robert Perry of Urban Rain Design was the primary author for detailing how the project area could be realized in short-term, intermediate, and full-scale build out phases. With each phase implemented over time, the full-scale implementation plan showcases highly interconnected threads of pedestrian an open space improvements that help provide an increased function of sustainability.

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