Putting Water to Work
Urban Runnoff, by Team Runoff, tackles San Francisco’s polluted stormwater flow.
Stormwater runoff starts out as relatively pure rainwater, but collects pollutants and toxins as it flows over impervious surfaces on its way into the Bay. These polluted stormwater flows are the Bay’s biggest pollutant by volume and thus incredibly detrimental to its ecosystem. Team Runoff’s solution is to capture, spread or slow down the rapid flow of water so that it doesn’t have the opportunity to become so foul nor reach the Bay in quantity. The Urban Runoff Project creates pervious surfaces where possible, capturing rainwater and storing it in cisterns that have been incorporated into existing buildings, bridges and other civic infrastructure. Captured water can then be stored, filtered, and reused — decreasing San Francisco’s dependence on far-off water sources.
This project is a response to GOOD Magazine’s design challenge to Academy of Art University students as part of its ongoing Design for Cities initiative. Each student team utilized the Living Principles framework and scorecard to guide and evaluate their efforts.
Team Runoff: Jaime Patino-calvo, Vilmundur Sveinsson
Course: R3 Lab
Instructor: Tom Sieu, Instructor, Academy of Art University School of Graphic Design
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