Design a Model Green Street in Washington, D.C.

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) seeks a landscape architecture firm to serve as lead consultant for the design and implementation of an inter-connected series of vegetated systems and proven technologies to manage stormwater runoff and beautify the public right-of-way in Chinatown, Washington, DC. ASLA intends this project to be a world-class model and education tool for developers, designers, city officials, and the public. Submission is open to international and national firms.

Nestled within L’Enfant’s original plans for Washington, D.C., the project area is in the Chinatown neighborhood, which has a rich and varied history. The neighborhood is a bustling urban area, but one that also faces significant issues related to combined sewer overflows and a degraded watershed. The project area spans the divide between the Potomac and Anacostia watersheds, providing a unique educational opportunity to incorporate a deeper understanding of the city’s hydrology.

This project extends the length of I Street between 9th and 6th streets, including several blocks north and south of I Street. As an underdeveloped and underused corridor, 8th Street is an opportunity for significant green enhancements. It’s anticipated that the first stage of the construction will focus on I Street, including the right-of-way at ASLA headquarters, located at 636 I Street. This project will be implemented in phases.

In late 2012, a two-day design charrette for this project was hosted by ASLA President Tom Tavella, FASLA, with stakeholders and District agencies. The goal of this charrette, and the resulting concept design, was to demonstrate the value of green infrastructure/low-impact development (LID) in the Chinatown neighborhood.

The drawings generated during the event are meant only to serve as a starting point for further conceptual development. They are based on generalized information gathered for the site; issues that may limit the design such as underground utility locations, compliance with existing plans, and State Historic Preservation Office design guidelines were not considered. Explore the prospectus based on the initial design charrette.

Project parameters:

  • The selected firm will be the lead consultant and oversee the project through all phases from design and installation to long-term maintenance planning and educational outreach.
  • The selected firm will collaborate with the ASLA Site Sustainability Advisory Committee throughout all phases of the project.
  • The selected firm will coordinate with ASLA staff to identify ways to document the design process, construction, monitoring results, and maintenance
  • It is anticipated that both the design and installation will occur in phases. The selected firm will help determine the appropriate phasing for the entire project.
  • The initial phase of the project is to produce a comprehensive master plan. It is anticipated that the master plan will be used to acquire additional funding for design development and installation of subsequent phases of the project.
  • The design is to have a strong identity unique to the cultural heritage and urban context of the Chinatown neighborhood. It should be a refuge amid the neighborhood’s busy vehicular traffic, placing priority on the needs of pedestrians, transit users, and cyclists.
  • The project is not only to exceed performance standards, but become a tangible expression of the power of marrying strong design with solid scientific principles. This should be accomplished in a beautiful and dynamic way that creates a public amenity.
  • The LID strategies proposed for the demonstration project must take an innovative yet implementable approach. This approach is to be applied to site selection, identification and resolution of challenges, design and construction, monitoring and evaluation, and finally to maintenance guidelines.

Submissions must be received by January 15, 2014. Learn more about submission requirements.

Image credit: Green Street / ASLA

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