Catalyzing Investment in Urban Sustainability
U.S.-Brazil Joint Initiative on
Urban Sustainability


Columbus Square

Project Overview

The stormwater planters at Columbus Square are the first of their kind to be installed by the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), converting a portion of Reed Street into a green street. PWD will use the lessons learned from this project to refine stormwater planter designs and their implementation. The PWD Office of Watersheds worked with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and many community partners to design a series of streetside stormwater planters that capture runoff from the contributing street and sidewalk. A stormwater planter manages street and sidewalk runoff through infiltration and evapotranspiration, or detention and slow-release when underlying soils do not allow for infiltration. The stormwater planters benefit streams and rivers by reducing stormwater flows into the overburdened combined sewer system, while benefiting the surrounding community by enhancing neighborhood aesthetics.

Hybrid Bus
Contact Information
Philadelphia Water Department
Fax: +1 (215) 685-6043
Mail: Office of Watersheds
Philadelphia Water Department
1101 Market Street, 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Environmental, Social, and Economic Benefits

This project is intended to reduce stormwater runoff and associated combined sewer overflows. It is also intended to inform future projects of its kind and to enhance neighborhood aesthetics.

Partners who contributed financially or in kind to this project include:
  • Philadelphia Water Department
  • Philadelphia Parks and Recreation
  • Streets Department
  • Columbus Square Advisory Council
  • Passyunk Square Civic Association
  • Christopher Columbus Charter School's Green Club