Palmetto “Green Streets” Project Revitalizes Downtown

The City of Palmetto is implementing a comprehensive “green streets” pilot program that demonstrates innovative applications for pedestrian-focused urban redevelopment and stormwater management. Applied Sciences teamed with Ekistics Design Studio and Ugarte and Associates to develop the plan for the Palmetto’s Community Redevelopment Agency, creating a prototype for pedestrian-oriented streets, enhanced aesthetics and low impact development (LID).

Scheduled for completion in late 2012, the 5th Street LID phase features pervious parking, sidewalks and pavers, green street planters, and bioswales, along with covered sidewalks, trees and low-impact street lighting. Combined, the streetscaping techniques reduce stormwater runoff and pollution, while demonstrating how regulatory requirements can be met without constructing land-intensive stormwater treatment ponds.

The City is the first in Florida to apply these innovative concepts in a downtown redevelopment area. The 5th Street project was designed as a redevelopment model for both public streets and private lands within a highly urbanized watershed. As part of its commitment, the City is offering incentives to downtown businesses making improvements that enhance economic development and environmental quality in the Community Redevelopment Area.

Constructed without stormwater pipes, the 5th Street project utilizes retention layers created beneath pervious concrete and pavers.Overflow runoff flows to street infiltration basins and bioswales. The project was developed and funded as a cooperative effort between the City of Palmetto CRA and the Southwest Florida Water Management District. It is the first in a series of urban revitalization projects for the City using the Green Streets model.