Soak it Up

Join Us for the Soak it Up! Exhibition

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The Green City, Clean Waters program is bringing green stormwater infrastructure to neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia. Have you wondered what these projects will look like or how they work? The Philadelphia Water Department, the Community Design Collaborative and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)have partnered to host Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! a national competition to design stormwater management tools for Philadelphia and explore their potential for revitalizing our neighborhoods. The competition concluded in March with the presentation of illustrations and renderings of innovative stormwater infrastructure designs.Now you can see the ideas that resulted from the competition on display at City Hall from October 7th through December 7th on the 2nd and 4th floors.An opening reception to celebrate the exhibit will be held on Tuesday, October 15th from 5pm to 7pm in the Council Caucus Room, 4th floor. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP through Eventbrite. To visit the exhibit any other time, use the visitors’ entrance on the northeast corner Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, starting October 7th.

GRID Alive! features Infill Soak It Up! this month

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GRID magazine, a free publication that highlights sustainability in Philadelphia, will feature the Infill Soak It Up! Design Competition in their August Issue. The Philadelphia Water Department hosted the competition to encourage creative thinking surrounding green infrastructure. The firms that participated will showcase their work at this month’s GRID Alive! talk show.The event, hosted by The Academy of Natural Sciences, will include free drinks, live music and an entertaining talk show about the contents of the August issue. Joanne Dahme, General Manager of Public Affairs at the Philadelphia Water Department, will be taking part in the conversation along with hosts Alex Mulcahy and Nic Esposito, as wellBeth Miller of the Collaborative.


The show is scheduled from 6 to 9pm at The Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Be sure to join us to check out the sketches, designs and other ideas that came out of the Infill Soak It Up! Design Competition and to pick up a copy of the August GRID issue. Hope to see you then!


You can read more about the Water Department and urban sustainability here. If you plan to attend, please register online.

What's the future of Philadelphia's waterways?

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Wrapping up the Infill Philadelphia: Soak it Up! design initiative, special guest Eric Sanderson, director of the Mannahatta Project, will host a conversation on Thursday, March 21st about the future of urban waterways at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

The evening will also include an overview of the Green City, Clean Waters program by Marc Cammarata, director of PWD's Office of Watersheds, and the winners of the Soak It Up! Design competition will present their ideas for the future of green infrastructure in Philadelphia. 

The event will run from 6:30 to 8:00pm, with a networking reception at 5:30. You can register here.

Winners of the Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! design competition were announced last Thursday to a packed room at the Academy of Natural Sciences last Thursday. This national, interdisciplinary design competition challenged designers, engineers, and other sustainability professionals to show how green stormwater infrastructure can transform our City. Over 320 people attended the ceremony celebrating the winners, chosen from three design categories.

In the Industrial category, a team led by Roofmeadow won with their design, "Leveraging Water + Plants in Zero Lot Sites." 

For the Neighborhood category, focused on Queen Village neighborhood, a team led by the landscape architecture firm OLIN, won with their design, "Greening the Grid." 

The winner of the Commercial retrofit category was "Stormwater reStore" led by Urban Engineers Inc. 

Visit the Community Design Collaborative’s Blog for a full list of winning participants, and learn more about the designs from local press: 

PlanPhilly, Flying Kite Media & Bustler

PWD hopes to use the winning designs for green stormwater infrastructure prototypes in the future. The Philadelphia Water Department congratulates everybody who took part in this groundbreaking competition! We hope you’ll join us tomorrow to hear more from our winners and learn about the future of urban waterways.

Dive In Before the Deadline!

Designers! Take the plunge and help make our communities green, clean and beautiful with your expertise and innovation. Oh – and win $10K while you’re at it!


Design teams from around the country are invited to embrace the challenge of designing next generation Green Stormwater Infrastructure by joining the Infill Philadelphia: Soak it Up! Design Competition. The Philadelphia Water Department, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Community Design Collaborative invite architects, landscape architects, engineers, and other professionals to share their plans and ideas for managing our nation’s stormwater in creative, environmentally friendly ways.


Teams will be able to design systems for managing stormwater in three different urban areas: Industrial, Neighborhood and Commercial districts. Nine finalists will be selected to present their designs in Philadelphia on March 7th, 2013 at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. One design from each of the three competition sites will be awarded a cash prize of $10,000. Registration closes November 30th, and submissions will be collected through January 22th, 2013.

Register at the Community Design Collaborative's registration page.

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