Deaderick Street Discussed at StormCon 2010

20 08 2010

Kim Hawkins, a principal with our office, recently spoke at this years StormCon in San Antonio, TX. She and Jim Snyder P.E., who at the time of the design and construction of the street was with Metro Nashville Public Works and who is now with Metro Nashville Water Services , spoke about the process of bring Nashville’s 1st Green Street to fruition. The following is the abstract about the presentation.


Nashville, TN

Nashville Metro Public Works, Client

Hawkins Partners, Inc worked with the Office of the Mayor and Metro Public Works to transform a historically and civically significant corridor in the downtown area which serves as a physical connector between the city/county courthouse and the state legislative arm of government. Prior to the renovations, the street had become most widely known as the central transfer point for the Metro bus system. In the fall of 2008 the bus system’s hub was relocated one block north to the ambitious Music City Central, presenting an opportunity to re-envision the street itself.

Deaderick Street sits within the Kerrigan Basin, one of Nashville’s Combined Storm Sewer (CSS) basins, that has historically been subject to overflows., it is Nashville’s first implementation of LID features in the public right-of-way, the first green street in Tennessee and one of the first green street applications in the southeast. The renovations to the street primarily focused on addressing stormwater issues and urban trees.  Pervious surface within the right of way was increased by 700% through the use of rain gardens, pervious concrete and .bioswales were implemented in pedestrian bulbs at the intersections.  The site design worked within the context of the existing street and the existing storm drainage system, retrofitting existing storm drains to serve as overflow only. Rain gardens and bioswales were designed with engineered soils to allow infiltration and planted with plants, including many natives, that are adaptable to the extremes of wet and dry conditions. Based on Nashville’s historical rainfall patterns, infiltration rates and variable design factors, it is estimated that over 1.2 million gallons will be removed from the CSO system on an annual basis through this three block urban street..

In addition to the stormwater aspects of Deaderick, a number of other sustainable features were incorporated into the street, including LED lighting, recycled steel site furniture, crushed concrete as base aggregate material, fly ash for concrete and solar powered parking meters.

Educational Awareness and Green Infrastructure

26 10 2009
While attending the recent Tennessee ASLA conference, and sitting in on a lecture about native plants, a presenter made an offhand comment stating that public education is the most important thing we can do to raise awareness, because if people don’t know about things then how can we expect them to care? Whenever possible, HPI has incorporated interpretive graphics into public projects such as greenways or parks, to highlight the history of the place or unique features of the site. Recently we have been provided the opportunity to create educational signage about sustainability for two newly completed projects – the first for a private developer and installed at Hill Center Belle Meade and the other for the City of Nashville for the renovation of Deaderick Street.

Environmental Stewardship campaigns have been around a long time with recycling awareness programs, Arbor Day, etc. Incorporating educational signage about sustainability into the built environment adds another facet to this type of non-formal education for the general pubic and is another perfect opportunity for landscape architects to become involved. Some traditional public awareness methods require the people to find their way to specific websites (the EPA has a couple of great sites geared towards the younger age groups; Environmental Kids Club or Polluted Runoff) or people have to just happen see things in the media. While these are all good, they may make it hard to target a wide range of groups.

The cool thing about putting educational posters in the built environment is the wide audience that you can target. For instance, a lot of different people on their way to the supermarket in Hill Center Belle Meade, or to their office buildings or the theater on Deaderick Street, will walk by these signs everyday. We just hope it sparks interest and provides a topic of conversation to raise even more awareness for sustainable practices.

Rainwater Harvesting Sign at Hill Center Belle Meade

Rainwater Harvesting Sign at Hill Center Belle Meade

Highlighting the Sustainable Practices in Deaderick Street Construction

Highlighting the Sustainable Practices in Deaderick Street Construction