• Planning for Water at Thomas Greene Park

This course aims to give participants a grasp of the functional power of water in regulating local climate through ecological productivity. This connection can facilitate an understanding of what water is and how it works in sustaining and supporting life in cities and in landscapes generally. The class includes an overview of New York City’s water system works – its inputs and outputs, the challenges facing water quality in the city and the types of interventions that can address these challenges. 


2017 – Brooklyn Public Libraries and Orchard Beach Parking Lot  

Group Assignment (Part A due session 3 – Part B due session 5)

In groups no larger than 4 students, class participants will develop a stormwater management plan and design concepts for one branch of Brooklyn Public Library (BPL).

Part A

Students will perform a comparative analysis of the existing conditions for each library: Eastern Parkway, New Lots, Canarsie, Mapleton and New Utrecht. Students will apply locational criteria to determine which site would benefit the most by installing Green Infrastructure. Factors to be considered: surface permeability, building typology, sewersheds, and CSO drainage areas. Please download site plans with dimensions, floor areas, and land cover. Students are also required to consult the Open Sewer Atlas map and Weather underground resources to determine site selection.

Other resources that might be interesting or useful:





Students will create a powerpoint (or otherwise) 5-10 mins long and explain the comparative analysis for the sites. Please include the following:

  • What sewershed are the sites in? What CSO drainage area is the site in?
  • How many residents are being served within the specific sewersheds?
  • What are the conditions of the treatment plants serving those sewershed?
  • How many gallons are being discharged by the CSO drainage area?
  • What is the surface permeability and topography of the sites?
  • Historical precipitation data from the closest weather station
  • Calculations for stormwater runoff generated for each property

Part B

Once the site is selected, students will explore Green Infrastructure typologies and make calculations to predict storm water capture and energy savings.

The final product should be a presentation (powerpoint or otherwise) 15-20 mins long and should include the following:

  • Contextual Analysis of Site
  • Design interventions and renderings / sketches / graphical representation
  • Calculations regarding stormwater capture, cooling, energy savings, and impact on NYC’s environment
  • Students are encouraged to be creative and pull ideas from a variety of sources

Links To The Final Work!


Group 1 WQM

Group 2 WQM

Group 3 WQM

Group 4 WQM

Group 5 WQM


2016 – Thomas Green Park, Brooklyn

Final Assignment:

Thomas Green Park sits on top of a former manufactured gas plant. The site has been slated for remediation by the NY State DEC and is also being considered as a site for storage tanks to hold excess waste / stormwater during heavy rain storms that could overflow from the Gowanus Pump Station through outfall RH 038. Regardless as to whether the storage tanks are sited under the park, it will be demolished and reconstructed. This is your opportunity to help design the park and also the adjacent properties for increased stormwater management potential!

Students will be designing a stormwater management plan for Degraw St between 3rd Ave and Nevins St in Brooklyn. The area includes Thomas Green Park (south) and a row of industrial buildings and one vacant lot (north). The site area has been split into 4 sections running north south between the park and the industrial buildings, students will be pre-assigned into groups of 4 with each group responsible for developing a plan for their site area. Each site area includes:

  • Recreational area
  • Sidewalk and right of way (street)
  • Industrial building

While the sites are generally the same by type, they do vary in specific use and composition. The site areas are all directly adjacent to each other and in sum create a city block. Groups should coordinate with one another so that the final designs work together towards the goal of managing as much stormwater as possible. The final product should include the following:

  • Contextual Analysis of Site
    • What watershed is the site in? What sewershed? What are the sites Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats in terms of stormwater management?
  • Quantify total site area stormwater generation for a 1.2” rainstorm scenario and 6” rainstorm scenario
    • Quantify sub site area stormwater generation for 1” storm and 6” storm
  • Design interventions and renderings / sketches / graphical representation
    • Analysis of total amount of stormwater capture for 1” storm with implementation of design interventions.
    • Analysis of total amount of stormwater capture for 6” storm with implementation of design interventions.
    • If there is excess water entering the sewer system, how many linear feet of mussels would be required to filter that water?
  • The following calculations for both industrial buildings in your groups site area
    • Building weighs x lbs. How many gallons of water would need to be evapo-transpired to cool the building by 1 degree C?
    • Building is X sq ft. How many tons of AC does it take to cool your building? What is that equivalent to in gallons of water?


Links To The Final Work!


Group 1 WQP

Group 2 WQP

Group 3 WQP

Group 4 WQP