Green Futures Design and Research Lab

Porous Public Space

How can design help us to regard stormwater as a resource rather than waste? How can the celebration of water bring people together in public space? How might a heightened awareness of water– positioned in its unique geophysical context–promote an urban life culture with an authentic sense of place?

Interns Roxanne Lee and James Wohlers have created this whimsical guide to help planners, designers and citizens understand the urban design potential inherent in watershed contexts. The pair base their creative proposals upon research and inspirations from the US and abroad, and present several compelling case studies. You, the reader, will enjoy following their characters to imagine how your streets, plazas and neighborhoods can be conceived to create places that embody multiple meanings of porosity. The Green Futures Lab is pleased to sponsor and distribute this guide, with profound thanks to the ScanlDesign Foundation for funding the internships and publication, and to Louise Grassov from Schulze + Grassov, Copenhagen, for providing guidance along the way.

Enjoy imagining how your city’s public spaces can invite both water and people to infiltrate and interact, in and for, great public spaces!

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