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The illustration above depicts a two-way street with central travel and service lanes located above a channelized natural waterway.
Streams and rivers are often polluted by industrial and residential uses and are deemed to be in the way of new development. They are often channeled
into underground pipes and paved over. Today however, cities around the world are looking to rebalance the relationship they have with their natural environment.
Overlay historic hydrology maps of the city with current street plans to identify natural watercourses. Consult environmental agencies, and advocacy groups, as well as planning and transportation agencies about known rivers, streams, or street-channeling projects implemented in past decades. See: Streets for Environmental Sustainability.
Identify daylighting sites by considering areas suffering from frequent flooding, or neighborhoods lacking in public open space.
Collect drawings, maps, and data to analyze the detailed right-of-way dimensions, traffic flow, constructed buildings, hydrology, and other existing conditions.
Discuss the potential pedestrianization of the street and daylighting concept with local officials and communities, bringing examples from other places to help demonstrate the multiple benefits. See: Communication and Engagement.
Consider a temporary closure of the relevant street sections, and program events to increase public awareness and build community interest. See: Temporary Street Closures.
Work with experts to develop a strategic plan, action items, engineering, and budgets for the proposal. Work with local artists and designers to visualize the potential transformation.
Add public seating to invite people to use the new water’s edge.
Specify plant species that are durable and compatible with the local climate, soil conditions, and annual rainfall. See: Green Infrastructure Design Guidance.
Use permeable pavers over adjacent pedestrian areas to increase water infiltration.
Measure and document environmental benefits such as groundwater recharge.
Create a pedestrian-friendly environment with raised intersections and continuous pedestrian crossings to slow traffic.
Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.
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