Global Street Design Guide

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Table of Contents

Global Street Design Guide

Stormwater and Wastewater

Stormwater and wastewater infrastructure helps maintain public health and hygiene. It mitigates environmental risks like flooding, sewer overflows, and water pollution. The stormwater system collects precipitation and water overflows. Wastewater pipes connect homes and buildings along streets to a main sewer leading to a wastewater treatment facility. In some instances, these are separated systems; in others, they are combined.

Electricity and Communication

Electricity supply and communication infrastructure are vital to both streets and the city as a whole. Electricity and communication cables serve street lighting and signals, and services for homes and businesses along the street. It is a critical service to support social and economic investment in the area. Streets may house infrastructure to benefit sustainable communities such as solar panels and public WiFi hotspots.

Water Supply and Firefighting

Clean and potable water should be distributed throughout the city by a comprehensive network of water supply pipes. Typically, these pipes work on the principles of gravity and should be aligned with street grids. Water used for firefighting can be carried through dedicated or shared pipes connected to fire hydrants.

Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure strategies complement stormwater and wastewater infrastructure. Green infrastructure reduces strain on stormwater systems through infiltration or evaporation, which also improves the quality of the street environment. See: Green Infrastructure.


Ensure safe, continuously illuminated streets for all users, particularly in pedestrian areas and conflict zones such as pedestrian or bike crossings and intersections. Power street lights through underground electric cables or built-in solar panels. See: Lighting and Technology.

Public Toilets

Provide public toilet infrastructure along major street corridors and in underserved or poorer neighborhoods, improving quality of life by maintaining access to clean sanitation facilities for all.

Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.