Green Futures Lab

The Green Futures Lab conducts research projects that aim to develop the knowledge needed to create healthy, engaging, and ecological environments.

Waterfront Stormwater Solutions

The impact of land use, impervious surfaces, stormwater pollutants and climate change are critical threats to the livability of our urban areas. Considering that a majority of the population is concentrated along waterfronts, developing solutions to these issues becomes all the more pressing. The intent of the Waterfront Stormwater Solutions is to develop and inspire...

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Stormwater Web Portal Feasibility

It is well documented that the leading cause of degradation to Puget Sound arises from stormwater pollution. The Puget Sound region’s current and projected urbanization, growing coverage of impervious surfaces and antiquated stormwater infrastructure increases stormwater pollution that poses significant ecological and human health risks. There have been substantial breakthroughs in landscape solutions that remediate...

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Green Roof Database and Evaluation

Green Roof Survey: The 2010 Seattle Green Roof Survey provided a snapshot of green roofs for the City of Seattle creating a baseline understanding from which to build a more comprehensive inventory and tracking tool for the city’s green roof built stock, green roof benefits and challenges, and the emerging green roof industry. Information about...

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Floating Wetlands

In 2013 and again in 2017, the Green Futures Lab conducted seminars on floating wetlands. Students surveyed floating wetlands literature and precedents, investigated their benefits for habitat, stormwater cleansing and water temperature regulation, and then developed new design concepts for several freshwater locations. Each site’s biological parameters drove the designs. Carrying the momentum of the...

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Biodiversity Green Wall System

Spearheaded and designed by the Green Futures Lab, the UW Biodiversity Green Wall, Edible Green Screen, and Water Harvesting System was completed in the fall of 2012, transforming two blank concrete walls into lush urban habitat. Located in the southeast corner of Gould Hall on 15th Avenue and NE 40th Street, the award-winning project has...

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Manchester Stormwater Park

The Green Futures Lab has monitored the effectiveness of Kitsap County’s Manchester Stormwater Park in treating pollutants from the upstream contributing basin, collecting and analyzing samples over the course of one year. Results indicate that both the system of level perimeter wetland cells filled with proprietary soil media, and the vertical spiral rain gardens with...

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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...

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Urban Play Handbook

Play brings people together, stimulates creativity, alleviates stress, and cultivates delight to both the participant and the viewer. Play can also break down social barriers that often prevent diverse groups from interacting and equitably sharing public space. Therefore, providing opportunities for play in the urban public realm is an essential tactic for creating lively, just...

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Shifting Gears

The benefits, utility, and joys of traveling by bicycle are countless, and the relative costs affordable. Yet it has been challenging for US cities to develop the kinds of infrastructural facilities that would make cycling available and attractive to large portions of their populations. Copenhagen, Denmark provides an inspiring example of municipal commitment to cycling...

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Seattle’s Neighborhood Greenways

The City of Seattle is working to enhance transportation options in the city and Neighborhood Greenways are becoming an integral part of the process. Reducing vehicle speeds and traffic volume is necessary for Neighborhood Greenways, but by creating inviting space for non-motorized users, Neighborhood Greenways can also bring about larger scale neighborhood and environmental improvements....

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Open Space Seattle 2100

This collaborative project asked leaders from civic, environmental, business and community groups to create a comprehensive open space vision to guide Seattle’s urban development over the next 100 years. The urban watershed-based process included a city-wide design charrette with 23 teams led by local professionals and UW students. The 200-page final report documented visions and...

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Adaptive Streets

Adaptive Streets: Strategies for Transforming the Urban Right-of-Way is an illustrated handbook to inspire and guide citizens, planners and officials to re-imagine how our streets can be adapted to increase utility and delight as well as enhance human and environmental health. The book presents a collection of strategies, demonstrating how they can be implemented in...

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Regional Open Space Strategy (ROSS)

The Puget Sound basin is facing significant ecological and economic pressures, which are predicted to be further exacerbated by our rapid population growth and increasing intensity of climate change impacts.  These stresses affect water quality and supply, fish, farm and forest production, flood and other environmental hazard vulnerability, economic opportunities and quality of life, and...

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