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DEP's Partnership with City Agencies for a Greener New York

Parking Lot Retrofits

Parking lots make up 8 % of New York City’s impervious area and offer multiple design alternatives to reduce stormwater runoff. Features like porous asphalt, catch basins, bioinfiltration swales, and subsurface detention and infiltration systems can combine to significantly reduce stormwater runoff from parking lots.  DEP is currently partnering with multiple government agencies (DOT, DCP, MTA and the Water Board) to encourage green infrastructure installations in parking lots. Three parking lot pilots currently in design will include bioinfiltration swales, subsurface stormwater chambers and porous pavement.

In addition to public demonstration projects, the city enacted zoning amendments in 2008 requiring commercial and community facility parking lots to construct interior and perimeter landscaping that could act as stormwaterbioretention cells. According to the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainabiltiy, if similar development trends continue for the next twenty years, the new zoning rules would apply to 300 acres of otherwise impervious surfaces.

High Density Residential Complex Retrofits

In partnership with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), DEP will construct multiple green infrastructure elements into a high-density residential housing complex. On top of a community building, DEP will test a modular tray blue roof system for temporary stormwater detention with a possible cistern on the external discharge. Around the complex, two parking lots on-site would be reconstructed with two types of green infrastructure technologies: a perforated pipe system which stores up to 600 cubic feet of stormwater and removes sediment and debris and a subsurface storage chamber that stores up to 780 cubic feet of stormwater. Modifications would also be made to the curbs and bordering grass areas to allow stormwater runoff to be conveyed away from the sidewalk and into a system of bioswales and bioretention areas.

Bioretention at Shoelace Park

By partnering with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), DEP has been able to install and design various green infrastructure pilot projects around the city. In Shoelace Park, located in the Bronx River watershed, detention and bioinfiltration systems are being designed and will likely be constructed near the end of 2010. Four other parks, located in three of the five boroughs, are currently in the design stages and a fifth park is under proposal review. Green infrastructure such as newly constructed wetlands, wetland restoration, bioswales, rain gardens, and right-of-way bioswales are all being used in the plans.


Green Infrastructure

Reservoir Levels

Current: 97.9%

Normal: 89.4%