City and Regional Planning

Greening the Elevated

Fall 2016 City Planning Studio

Elevated transportation structures are a common sight throughout Philadelphia.  Cutting through industrial areas, commercial districts, and neighborhoods, they effectively serve the purpose of moving people and goods from one location to another.  This single-minded focus results in an elevated system that largely ignores the surrounding communities.  Whether this neglect helps or hinders the community is less important than the fact that the opportunities presented by these elevated structures is being wasted.  With green stormwater infrastructure, these elevated transportation structures can be activated in ways that encourage economic development, strengthen the environment, and build up communities.

To start this process of integrating green stormwater infrastructure into the elevated structures, a full assessment of both elements was required.  Since these infrastructure systems are drastically different from each other, this assessment served to not only classify the elevated into specific typologies, it also helped identify areas where green infrastructure could potentially affect elevated structures.