Bioswales and Stormwater Greenstreets
Bioswales are planted areas in the sidewalk that collect stormwater that runs off the sidewalk and along the curb when it rains.
A bioswale may look similar to a street tree pit or a small garden, but there are some key differences. Here’s how you can tell the difference:
- Curb inlet - The inlet allows water to flow into the bioswale as it flows down the curb toward the catch basin.
- Outlet - Larger bioswales also have an outlet. If the bioswale fills to capacity, water can exit through the outlet and continue into the catch basin on the street corner.
- Stone Strip - The stone strip allows people to step out of their cars without damaging the plants.
- Plants - all bioswales have plants and grasses which have been carefully selected to ensure they can survive on busy New York City streets.
- Soil - The soil is graded so that water ponds in the center of the bioswale.
- Tree Guard - all bioswales have tree guards around them that protect the plants and keep people and dogs from walking inside of it.
- Tree - DEP plants trees in bioswales as often as possible. Trees benefit neighborhoods by lowering temperatures in hot summer months, improving air quality, and providing habitat for birds and butterflies.
Here’s how the bioswale functions:
Stormwater greenstreets are similar to bioswales but are constructed in the roadway and are usually larger. They vary in shape and size based on the characteristics of the roadway and street corner. Stormwater greenstreets can typically collect more stormwater runoff than bioswales.
Here are the neighborhoods where we are currently planning for, designing, or constructing bioswales and stormwater greenstreets.