• Mitigating Stormwater

    Impervious surfaces like sidewalks and streets force enormous volumes of rain into storm drains, ultimately sending contaminated water into the watershed. The best solution is to let the ground play its natural role, absorbing and filtering the water and slowing flow into sewer systems.

  • Reducing Energy Footprint

    City streets use an enormous amount of energy, both for illumination and as a result of copious non-reflective surfaces that create a “heat island” effect that raises air temperatures, driving up air-conditioning costs and creating stress on energy systems.

  • Enhancing Vitality and Community

    To be successful, green infrastructure projects must add life and vitality to the everyday life of the street and serve the needs of people and wildlife alike.

  • Increasing Security

    The “complete street” concept makes the experience of a street safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers, and protects buildings that have significant security concerns.

  • Boosting Economic Value

    Green, complete, and smart streets enhance urban life, including the economic well-being of their communities.

  • Demonstrating Successful Concepts

    The project is designed to foster cutting-edge infrastructure innovation and provide lessons for the public, governments, businesses, and design professionals nationwide.


ASLA Chinatown Green Street

Chinatown Green Street


With urban infrastructure in urgent need of revitalization, it’s time for new thinking about how the civic realm can better serve public needs and meet environmental goals.

Chinatown Green Street, in downtown Washington, D.C., is a unique demonstration project that on one city block combines advanced “green,” “complete,” and “smart” street concepts. It addresses comprehensively the pressing problems of stormwater runoff and pollution, energy inefficiency, and pedestrian safety. At the same time, it enhances the vitality of the public realm and reflects cultural sensitivity, while demonstrating the ability of cutting-edge green infrastructure to support the goals of property and business owners.

When the Chinatown Green Street demonstration project is complete, cities everywhere will be able to study its strategies and outcomes and draw lessons that can improve our understanding of how a reimagined infrastructure can profoundly enhance the quality of 21st-century American life.


ASLA Chinatown Green Street | Design Workshop


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