Department of Design and Construction311Search all websites

DDC Demonstrates NYC Green Infrastructure at Car Free Earth Day 2018

Rain Gardens on Broadway

April 21, 2018

Ian Michaels

New York, NY – The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) today helped New Yorkers have a better understanding of the City’s green infrastructure as part of an extensive exhibit at “Car Free Earth Day 2018,” a 30-block long stretch of environmental, art, science and performing arts programming along Broadway from West 17th Street to West 47th Street.

DDC’s display between 26th and 27th streets was shared by the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and NYC Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) to promote measures taken to ensure the City’s long-term environmental sustainability. The 300-square-foot exhibit featured a mock rain garden, a demonstration and activity table and information about other types of green infrastructure that DDC includes in its designs for public buildings and infrastructure, including green roofs and permeable pavement that helps to better manage stormwater runoff.

mock rain garden
DDC’s Arturo Hernandez-Sangregori explains the science behind a mock rain garden as part of Car Free Earth Day 2018

“Environmental sustainability is critical when planning for future infrastructure projects or for the long-term viability of important public buildings such as firehouses and police stations,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “Educating New Yorkers helps them to better understand the challenges we face and the steps City agencies are taking to protect the local environment. We encourage all New Yorkers to follow sustainable environmental practices whenever possible.”

Rain gardens are a cost-effective, resilient and sustainable way to manage stormwater runoff, reducing local flooding, combined sewer overflows and the amount of runoff reaching local waterways. They consist of small natural areas in the sidewalk utilizing curb cuts, extremely porous soil, a variety of plants chosen for their ability to absorb water and porous concrete to divert stormwater from streets and sewers and instead draw it into the ground. A typical rain garden can absorb up to 2,500 gallons of water during a rain event.

DDC manages the construction of rain gardens across the City for the DEP, which maintains a rain gardens hotline at 718-595-7599, or by email at

A curbside rain garden
A curbside rain garden installed by DDC in Queens in 2017

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $13 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit