My Ten Favorite SMPs

Knowing myself as I do I find it highly likely that this website will end up talking a lot about green stormwater management with a focus on the innovations in Philadelphia. So I’m going to start out by defining some of the more common stormwater [best] management practices. My list of favorites showcase the fact that SMPs can effectively combine infiltration capacity with pedestrian safety and beauty.

This blog was originally published on The Rutgers Association of Planning and Policy Students blog on August 23, 2011.

SMP = Stormwater Management Practice noun (ess-emm-pee) meaning any man-made structure that is designed or constructed to convey, store or otherwise control stormwater runoff, quality, rate or quantity

Now how many of those can there be? A lot! But I have ten favorite ones and here’s why:

  1. GREEN ROOFS: because they create public space, wildlife habitat, decrease HVAC costs, extend the life of the roof and manage stormwater (why not!?)
  2. PERMEABLE PAVERS: because they are versatile and attractive
  3. BUMPOUTS: because they can also calm traffic and increase pedestrian safety
  4. SWALES: because there are so many applications that bring stormwater conveyance to the surface and increase public awareness of stormwater management issues
  5. RAINFALL CAPTURE AND REUSE features can also be used to create sustainable water features
  6. FLOW-THROUGH PLANTERS: because there are so many different options and they are applicable to urban, space-constrained sites
  7. BERMS AND RETENTIVE GRADING: because this techniques uses attractive landscaping and topography to manage stormwater and decrease erosion
  8. FILTER STRIPS: because they offer pretreatment benefits without taking up much space
  9. STREET EDGE ALTERNATIVES such as curbless streets and bioretention swales are a great way to beautify residential neighborhoods
  10. PAVEMENT DISCONNECT: because it increases infiltration on-site and creates opportunities for use of salvaged materials in the landscaping