Soak It Up! (Infill Philadelphia)


We joined an international team of young professionals to propose “Un/Plug&Flow” for the 2013 Soak It Up Competition sponsored by the Community Design Collaborative, Philadelphia Water Department, and Environmental Protection Agency. Participants explored inventive, green stormwater infrastructure solutions for Philadelphia. Locus Partners played a leading role in establishing the project concept: a kit-of-parts solution applicable in any Philly neighborhood as individual DYI installations, to aggregate with neighbors, or to accumulate into civic, community-engaging enterprises. We initiated and refined the streetscape and open space design solutions, and led the team’s proposal narrative. We directed the award ceremony presentation for the team and presented at the PechaKucha style competition of finalists. 

“UNPLUG stormwater from the combined sewer system. PLUG in new technologies; select from a suite of alternative SMPs, designed for a highly urbanized context, to detain that stormwater, clean it, and use it. These practices are intended to be stand-alone units, their redundant designs buffering against overload and field constraint. Un/Plug&Flow attenuates the 3” storm and effectively increases the runoff time from 24 hours to 72 hours through a kit-of-parts approach. Inner Block, Outer Block, and Open Space are the three categories of solution. As the components proliferate through these areas, they link, expand, and ultimately FLOW. This creates a cohesive system of capture, purification, use, and minimized contribution to CSOs. Over time, their broad implementation will result in a powerful system of water independence. Un/Plug&Flow proposes a new city of community/living/infrastructure, using the water resource to connect people through common stewardship and transformed neighborhoods.” —Abstract

The work shown here is the collective effort of the Competition Team.