Atlanta turns a stormwater problem into a revitalizing new public park

Atlanta, Georgia’s Historic Fourth Ward Park project received the Envision Gold award in 2016.

A partnership of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) and the Atlanta Department of Watershed Management (DWM), Historic Fourth Ward Park was one of the first components in the progressing BeltLine Project― a comprehensive effort providing a network of public parks, multi-use trails and transit along a historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling downtown. Historic Fourth Ward Park is the 12th project in North America to receive an ISI Envision rating award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI).

Direction for this project originated from conversations among citizens discussing local stormwater issues. As part of the development effort, the stormwater management was enhanced, from what was originally a series of underground pipes, into a community amenity.

The park, which is designed to provide much needed stormwater drainage relief within a 300-acre drainage basin, uses artistic elements to aerate and recycle pond water in a dramatic contrast to traditional discharge pipes. The stormwater pond serves as the park’s centerpiece, surrounded by walking trails, urban plazas, native plantings and an amphitheater.

The project has generated adjacent redevelopment and revitalization, providing the cornerstone for a sustainable, high-density and high-quality urban transformation along with an outstanding design solution for a combined sewer overflow problem.

Envision is beginning to influence projects in just the way that the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure hoped,” said HDR Sustainability Director, Michaella Wittmann, LEED Fellow, ENV SP. “The Fourth Ward Park project started as a typical stormwater management/flooding problem, and turned into a solution that addressed the problem and resulted in economic and community development, environmental restoration and creation of a park. We’re proud that this project could meet high standards of sustainability while also improving community livability in Atlanta.

See full article & image credit on Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure website.

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