C+S April 2021 Vol. 7 Issue 4 (web)

Landscape Architects are masters at designing green space. Consulting a Landscape Architect early in the design process can result in better function and utilization of the site. A straight-forward design of park- ing islands with trees and shrubs not only hide site features like utility infrastructure they also provide shade to cool the field of pavement and improve air quality. The right landscape design can elevate a code required stormwater detention space into a usable community amenity through simple additions of walking paths and grassed areas. 3. Alternate Mobility Kansas City, like most major cities, has embraced the alternate mobility shift. Examples include leaders on both sides of the state line committing to a sustainable future beginning with the merger of metro bus lines to form The Kansas City Area Transit Authority and the installation of the downtown streetcar with recent voter approval for expansion. Designing sustainable infrastructure to accommodate all different modes of transit is a good way to plan for the future. As mobility meth- ods evolve, so can our existing roadways. As the number of cars on the road reduces, less lanes will be needed and can easily be converted for: • Designated bike lanes • Wider sidewalks to promote walkability • Bike share and electric scooter parking • Enhanced streetscapes for outdoor seating and gathering 4. Stormwater Management Protecting our natural resources in the built environment is a neces- sary balance. Site designers and developers should think about the land and location of the project and adapt their design around its natural features. Sustainable site design can offer cost-savings while being ecologically responsible. Stormwater management and mitigation offers a number of sustainable Best Management Practices (BMPs) in site design. Low Impact Development (LID) is a design practice that site designers use to integrate a site’s natural features to emphasize conservation and protect water quality.

In the built environment, stormwater quality is reduced by pollutants from manmade surfaces and structures. Incorporating water quality op- tions such as rain gardens or bioretention basins and bioswales main- tain stormwater runoff effectively and help offset pollutants absorbed into the watershed. To better help us understand sustainable design, we sat down with Mike Makris, P.E., who is one of our go-tos for sustainable design. Makris’ knowledge has landed him several speaking opportunities to local architects, professional and college organizations. We asked Makris, “where do you see sustainable design in the next three to five years?” Speaking to site sustainability, I believe it has followed, and will continue to follow changing lifestyle trends. The millennial genera- tion consumed mixed use space, and present indicators are that Gen Z will too. This has created opportunities for urban design to consider alternate mobilities, electric vehicles, parking reduction, and outdoor engagement spaces. Alternate Mobilities – the goal of mixed-use development is to create a place that people can live, work, play, and shop without the use of a car. This type of development fosters walkability and is supplemented by other mobilities such as e-scooters, bikeshare, rideshares, and public transit. Alternate mobilities are seeing growth not only from the physi- cal space being built to support them, but from technological advances and 5G adoption. Rise in EV adoption – As Electric Vehicles (EVs) are becoming more affordable, we are beginning to see 25 percent year over year growth in EV ownership. Sustainable designers need to think beyond just the charging station. They need to consider how people’s travel habits will change. EV drivers will not stop at the local gas station, as they will charge at home. On long road trips, the stop to refuel will not be five minutes, but an hour, changing the role of travel centers. Real Estate Owners are beginning to consider the role of EVs at their property, chargers are quickly becoming essential amenities in multifamily and hotel developments.



April 2021

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