CONCEPT ur-ban (ûr’ bən) adj. 1. characteristic of the city or city life mead-ow (mĕd’ ō) n. 1. tract of grassland near the timberline An urban m EaDo w will be created in the heart of the Ea st Do wntown community. The site is urban-defined by the shadows from downtown’s tallest buildings. The m EaDo w will be (re)created by all of us. The reflection of the grassland has been designed using low-impact development strategies. These strategies will improve the neighborhood as well as the region. The new m EaDo w’s timberline will not be of trees and wood, but of buildings made of brick, metal and glass. Ultimately, it will be the residents and visitors to this neighborhood that will define success for the urban m EaDo w; however, our hope is to begin the next phase of this community’s history with smart, beautiful, meaningful redevelopment. Ea st Do wntown’s newest redevelopment will be a six-block urban pedestrian mall linking the new Houston Dynamo Stadium with the Shenzhen Sister City Garden. The redevelopment features a dynamic, linear esplanade comprised of mixed-use rental and owner-occupied construction. Typical project types will include residential, commercial, hotel, retail/restaurant, entertainment and public parking. Within walking distance of the Central Business District, Ea st Do wntown is easily accessed via foot, bicycle, METRO bus and light rail with a new rail stop at the intersection of Texas and Dowling. u r b a n m E a D o w
HOW WHAT All these improvements infuse Houston’s Ea st Do wntown with new energy, taking the area’s quality of life to new levels. The most salient new opportunity, however, is the potential to realize this new vitality while improving The City’s storm water management abilities. Our climate’s epic rainfalls require intelligent, thoughtful management strategies. This urban m EaDo w redevelopment integrates smart ways to improve the rate, flow, and quality of storm water runoff, adding city-wide value to this downtown district. Our concept for urban m EaDo w’s redevelopment consists of utilizing low impact storm water management features including extensive use of green roofs, walls, screens, and spaces in the pedestrian mall. Based on our Civil and hydrologic calculations, our runoff volume (ac-ft) will be reduced by 3% and the peak flows (cfs) will be reduced by 1%. The design concept will maintain the TC values at or below the existing levels and remove 80+% of bacteria and TSS. These L.I.D. features provide clean regulated storm water to the City of Houston’s storm water system thereby improving the water quality in our environment. u r b a n m E a D o w
SITE PLAN u r b a n m E a D o w Walker St. McKinney St. Lamar St. Dallas St. Polk St. Bell St.
u r b a n m E a D o w CONNECTIONS Urban mEaDow is located in the heart of downtown Houston. An average of 12 million visitors convene in Downtown Houston at various entertainment and convention facilities annually. In close proximity to urban mEaDow, the George R. Brown convention center brings in many of the nation’s top grossing conventions and exhibits. The addition of Houston’s newest urban park, Discovery Green, has reenergized the enjoyment of public parks and strengthened the City’s “green” awareness with farmers markets, educational outdoor activities and green living classes. The nearby Minute Maid Park and the Toyota Center host national baseball, basketball and hockey teams as well as many exciting music and dance performances. Houston’s Metro Rail will soon have a stop located at the North end of the new stadium (Texas and Dowing) which is within walking distance of the proposed development. The Metro Rail begins in North Downtown and connects the University of Houston downtown campus, the Museum District, the Medical Center Reliant Park, and soon much more.
u r b a n m E a D o w Anchoring the South end of the urban mEaDow is the future park to Houston’s sister city Shenzhen in China. Our urban mall scheme opens in a plaza that mimics the concave curved shape of the proposed parks entrance creating a visual link with the park and allowing open views of both the park and mall from several blocks away. SHENZHEN GARDEN CONNECTION
u r b a n m E a D o w Anchoring the North end of the urban m EaDo w is the site of Houston’s first soccer stadium. Our urban m EaDo w scheme includes a raised walkway that will connect visitors to the stadium with conveniently accessible parking, retail shopping and ground level dining that will encourage pedestrian flow before and after events. The streetscape at the stadium terminates in an open landscape feature that welcomes visitors to the stadium. This green space feature will be an ideal location for sculptures and will serve to educate the public on the low impact design strategies used on the project. STADIUM CONNECTION
u r b a n m E a D o w HYDROLOGY The 1% (100-year) runoff volume was reduced from 8.5 ac-ft in existing conditions to 8.1 ac-ft in proposed redevelopment conditions for a five-percent reduction. The 1% (100-year) peak flows were maintained at 53 cfs even with the addition of 0.6 ac of drainage area. Similar reductions were shown in more frequent rainfall events as well. Additional reduction in stormwater runoff is anticipated due to cisterns storage as well as the use of green screens and green walls within the system, which were not explicitly accounted for in planning-level analysis.
u r b a n m E a D o w Hydrograph comparison – The 1% hydrographs (and other events not shown) are nearly identical as the CN was reduced significantly in proposed redevelopment conditions. Design will maintain Tc values at or below existing levels and remove 80%+ of bacteria and TSS from system. Bioretention (addition to previous text) – The native/hardwood mulch is an important part of the system and provides pre-treatment as well as TSS and metals removal. ** For this conceptual phase of the study, the Soil Conservation Service Curve Number (CN) Method was used in conjunction with the HEC-HMS hydrologic model to generate pre- and post-development runoff hydrographs for the design storm events. For the final design phase, we recommend the use of the EPA’s Stormwater Management Model (SWMM) or preferably the XP-SWMM or PC-SWMM versions of the model to enhance graphical capabilities. Since these models are excellent choices for storm sewer systems and urban drainage systems, they are widely used and accepted models. The SWMM models include water quality and LID components and can be used for a design storm analysis or a continuous simulation analysis. In addition, dynamic (fully unsteady) flow computations may be performed to enhance hydraulic routing and fully consider tailwater effects of each downstream facility and outfall. Because of the relatively small size of the system, we do not believe that it justifies the use of a more specific LID model.
u r b a n m E a D o w GREEN ROOFS & WALLS Green walls and green screens will be used in conjunction with the green roofs to provide additional infiltration opportunities. The green screens will be used along all parking garage facades, for a total of 16,800 square feet. Covered with an evergreen flowering vine, the green screens will enhance the ‘green views’ throughout the esplanade, furthering the concept of the urban meadow. Additionally, an artful green wall composed of a variety of plant material will be provided on the buildings near the north and south entry points. This distinctive feature provides a signature entry marker in the urban m EaDo w district while also contributing a low-impact green strategy to reduce stormwater runoff. The green screens and green walls will also reduce the amount of reflective heat eminating from the building facades, providing a pleasant atmosphere for pedestrians below.
u r b a n m E a D o w TREE WELL The tree well filtration system will be used at critical locations to treat stormwater from roadway gutters. Filtration is achieved through hardwood mulch and an engineered soil media, capable of removing up to 95% of total suspended solids, 91% of heavy metals, and 76% of nitrogen pollutants in stormwater. Infiltration is also increased through tree roots, which provides water intake and releases through evapotranspiration. The reduced volume of cleansed stormwater runoff will then percolate through a perforated underdrain pipe to join the larger drain system in the central esplanade. A total of 20 tree filtration wells are proposed on the roadways, potentially reducing volume and removing pollutants from up to 8.4 acres of roadway drainage area.