Texas Tech University


Green Infrastructure in Action





DoLA Students bring Green Infrastructure to City Hall

Green Infrastructure in Action (LARC 4001/5001)‑-DoLA's newest course offering--is off to a great start this spring!  In this “service learning” course, created and facilitated by Assistant Prof. Daniel Phillips, both graduate and undergraduate students studying landscape architecture or related fields have opportunities to engage with local residents, organizations and municipal agencies while working on real-world projects.

Throughout this spring, students designed and distributed a community-wide survey, transformed a local residential property into a water-wise landscape, and even pitched their design ideas to civic leaders at city hall. The community survey focused on perceptions of local amenities, parks and residential landscape preferences.  Working on a large corner lot in the Heart of Lubbock, students engaged in iterative design process and began to bring these designs to life. The design includes a sculptural berms and basins, 4 mature Mesquite trees transplanted from local rangeland, and a palette of drought-tolerant shrubs, wildflowers and grasses.  Built on a parcel that previously lacked a sidewalk, a meandering path was conceived to invite public engagement and appreciation of alternative “Green Infrastructure” approaches. The site will be employed as a pilot demonstration site for the use of rain barrels, curb cuts and stormwater infiltration basins comprising over 3000 gallons of detention capacity. 

To close out the course they presented the preliminary findings and process with key city decisionmakers, including the leaders of the stormwater, public works, and engineering department for the City of Lubbock.  The city stakeholders were receptive and excited to see such shovel-ready solutions, providing signatures on a Memorandum of Understanding  which will allow curbs near this site to be modified with “curb-cuts”.  These modifications allow water to move strategically from rooftops to basins and outlet to the street surface in larger storms.  Future offerings of the course will continue to build on the foundation set here to develop new resources and tools to empower local residents to modify their own streets and yards to increase multi-functional greenspace, while reducing flood risk in this flood-prone area.

Graduate students from across the university and interested in urban hydrology and design are encouraged to enroll in future offerings of this cross-listed course!