Green Futures Lab

The Green Futures Lab works to improve the health of our water bodies and sustain our water resources through green infrastructure innovations, ecosystem restoration, and open space protection.

Sweetgrass Shorelines Restoration

Website coming soon on the Living Shorelines Puget Sound page – Sweetgrass Restoration Project The Sweetgrass Project is about creating living shorelines along Seattle and King County’s urbanized waterfronts. The University of Washington’s Green Futures Lab will work with shoreline stakeholders to test innovative ecological designs that improve water quality and habitat for salmon and...

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Coupeville Stormwater Park

Inspired by the urban design and water quality projects represented in the Waterfront Case Studies booklet as part of the Waterfront Stormwater Solutions research, the GFL designed multi-functional stormwater treatment systems that collect, clean, cool and recycle stormwater at the end of the pipe before it is released into the Puget Sound. Along with water...

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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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Reflections: People on the Waterfront

In an ideal world, waterfronts would be available to all people. In most U.S. cities these prime sites are in private or industrial hands. Seattle has over 200 miles of shoreline, most of it inaccessible to the general public. The healing power of shorelines, water access and views are available only to the privileged. Reflections:...

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Lake Forest Park 100-year Legacy Plan

As a member of a professional consulting team, the Green Futures Lab led the public process for developing a 100-year green infrastructure plan for the community of Lake Forest Park. The Lab facilitated a Green infrastructure festival to solicit community input, a Green Legacy design charrette to engage the public in planning their green infrastructure...

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Global Green Lecture Series

Global Green is a lecture/panel series showcasing Sustainable Planning and Design in the Pacific Northwest and Denmark. Funded by the Scan Design Foundation. The themes to date have been: Autumn 2011 “Livability or Gentrification? Democratic Neighborhood Revitalization in Copenhagen” Speaker: Bianca Hermansen, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Spring 2009 | Toward a Walkable Seattle: Drawing...

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Burlington at a Crossroads

In 2013, Burlington, WA—a small agricultural city located in the Skagit Valley north of Seattle—engaged an interdisciplinary team of graduate students and a faculty advisor from the University of Washington Green Futures Lab (GFL) to generate ideas for a Comprehensive Plan update. City planners and the GFL convened numerous public workshops, forums, and presentations to...

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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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