Oct 25th 2015

Students in Landscape Architecture Magazine

An innovative storm water management proposal in Milwaukee by nine students was featured in Landscape Architecture magazine.

Students from Jennifer Current's course developed three proposals to help abate the damage associated with storm water runoff and presented them to Erick Shambarger, deputy director of Milwaukee's Office of Environmental Sustainability. Shambarger had drawn attention to the flooding in areas of the city with high levels of home foreclosures. Shambarger proposed demolishing abandoned houses and retaining the basements as basins for storm water run-off.

That's where Current and her students stepped in and proposed three different uses for the ground level of these basins. "When there's something so interesting going on below the surface," said Current, "there should be something that speaks to that above surface."

The three proposal include a tree nursery, a steel structure with a second story viewing platform, and a "splash garden" that exposes the engineering below ground through using old fashioned hand pumps that draw the water up from the basin."

The city is exploring the possibility of implement elements of the splash garden concept through philanthropic partner support.