Marquette Students Plan for a Greener Milwaukee

Green Street Design

The Collegiate BMP Design Challenge, a Joyce Grant initiative led by1000 Friends of Wisconsin, connects university students with priority projects in the Kinnickinnic and Menomonee Restoration Plans and challenges them to develop designs utilizing green infrastructure to improve local water quality and create a community amenity in the process.

Two teams of student engineers from Marquette University participated in the design challenge in conjunction with their senior capstone project and developed plans for a pilot green street and a green roof in the Wilson Creek area in Milwaukee.

The pilot green street project runs along a 5-block stretch of 6th Street in Milwaukee between Armour Avenue and Bolivar Avenue. The design goal was to reduce stormwater runoff from the 5 block area by incorporating best management practices to capture rain on site. These best management practices, also called green infrastructure, counter the effect of the urban environment with its vast imperious surfaces of roads, pavement, and roofs that prevent the infiltration of rain.

Green infrastructure mimics how rain is absorbed in a natural environment and works to employ those same processes to capture water on the site where it falls. The green street team used an integrated approach to reduce the runoff of stormwater by using porous pavers, bio-swales and vegetated planters to absorb and capture the rain.