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Urban’s Team Wins Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! Competition
Publication Date
March 10th 2013

 Urban Engineers (Urban) is thrilled to announce that a team consisting of Urban, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, and Spiezle Architectural Group has won the Commercial Retrofit Design Category of the Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! Competition.


The team’s design submission, “Stormwater reStore,” proposes rainwater reclamation improvements to the Shopping Plaza at 3021 Grays Ferry Avenue in Philadelphia. The innovative design will serve as a prototype for future green stormwater infrastructure projects, illustrate the potential for public/private partnerships, and create awareness about the return on investment of such projects for property owners.


The competition is part of Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up!—an 18-month partnership of the Philadelphia Water Department, US Environmental Protection Agency, and Community Design Collaborative to revitalize urban neighborhoods through the adoption of green stormwater management in the Philadelphia region. These methods are outlined in Green City, Clean Waters, Philadelphia’s $2 billion, 25-year plan to protect and enhance the city’s waterways by managing stormwater primarily through innovative green stormwater infrastructure.


In total, 28 teams, 101 firms, and 315 designers, engineers, and other sustainability professionals participated from the Philly region and other US cities, including New York City, Portland, and St. Louis. The process included a six-week collaborative design period and a submission in late January, whereby an expert jury from the fields of design, engineering, development, and sustainability selected the finalists.


“Our team’s input, collaboration, and hard work is evident in our submission and final presentation,” said Urban’s Site/Land Development Director Chris Gubeno, PE, who presented for the team along with Johanna Phelps of Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects. “We hope that these types of partnerships and design strategies will continue to open eyes on the possibilities for improving water quality and building sustainable urban communities in the future.”