"Low Impact Development: a design manual for urban areas" | Notes of Interest

"Low Impact Development: a design manual for urban areas" is a 230-page publication designed for use by those involved in urban development-from homeowners, to institutions, developers, designers, cities, and regional authorities. Low Impact Development (LID) is an ecologically-based stormwater management approach favoring soft engineering to manage rainfall on site through a vegetated treatment network. The objective is to sustain a site’s pre-development hydrological regime by using techniques that infiltrate, filter, store, and evaporate stormwater runoff close to its source.

The manual presents a graphic argument, using urban design templates and scenarios to illustrate the role of LID technology in regional planning and infrastructural design. It is the first to devise a LID Facilities Menu of the 21 assemblages available, organized from mechanical to biological functioning, and based on increasing level of treatment service (quality) and level of volume reduction service (quantity).

The manual’s unique contribution to the topic lies in its advancement of LID from a set of Best Management Practices to a highly distributed treatment network deployed at neighborhood, municipal, and regional scales. It shifts LID from an isolated technology to a planning model based on nestled pattern languages in making places. The goals are to promote implementation of LID technologies in urban areas through adoption of best practices in planning and design, and encourage reform in municipal codes.

Additional Credits

  • Engineer: University of Arkansas Ecological Engineering Group
  • Funding made available in part by: The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) through a grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Region 6 Section 319(h)
  • Publication made possible by generous support from: Arkansas Forestry Commission's Urban Forestry Program and US Forest Service Beaver Water District
  • Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Stewardship Ozarks Initiative
  • Ozarks Water Watch with Upper White River Basin Foundation
  • National Center for Appropriate Technology Southeast Field Office: Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • US Green Building Council Western Branch Arkansas Chapter: Northwest Arkansas
  • Illinois River Watershed Partnership

"Low Impact Development: a design manual for urban areas"

Jury Comments

A very clear manual that should become the primer for creating beautiful and sustainable public streets and spaces.

What a useful, easy-to-understand tool, not only for architects, but also for community leaders and citizens working to ensure environmentally sustainable development.

Urban design at a scale that architects can grasp and incorporate into their own projects. It is a project both specifically technical and inspiring all at the same time.

2011 Institute Honor Awards for Regional & Urban Design Jury

  • Daniel Williams, FAIA, (Chair)
  • Daniel Williams Architect
  • Seattle
  • C.R. George Dove, FAIA
  • WDG Architecture, PLLC
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Vivien Li
  • Boston Harbor Association, Public Director
  • Boston
  • Claire Weisz, AIA
  • Weisz + Yoes Architecture
  • New York City
  • Bernard Zyscovich, FAIA
  • Zyscovich, Inc.
  • Miami

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