Design Competition: Infill Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Water Department, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Community Design Collaborative invites design professionals to enter Infill Philadelphia: Soak it Up!—an interdisciplinary design competition promoting the creative, innovative use of green stormwater infrastructure in Philadelphia and other cities.

The design competition challenges interdisciplinary teams to develop new models for green stormwater infrastructure, focusing on one of three sites in Philadelphia:


  • ·         Warehouse Watershed: A warehouse and a city-owned vacant lot that offer possibilities for public-private partnerships and the revitalization of a high-vacancy, mixed-use residential/industrial district.
  • ·         Retail Retrofit: A retail strip center that has the potential to play a more central role in the surrounding neighborhood through improved walkability, pop-up space for community events, and access to river recreation.
  • ·         Greening the Grid: An historic neighborhood with an engaged community and a dense network of streets, alleys, roofs, and open space that offers possibilities for an array of small-scale interventions.

The design competition is part of a larger design initiative exploring how green stormwater infrastructure can revitalize urban neighborhoods.


Green stormwater infrastructure is crucial to the implementation of Green City, Clean Waters, the City’s innovative, sustainable 25-year plan to protect and enhance local waterways primarily through the use of green stormwater infrastructure.

The competition is open to professional designers. Competition teams must include at least one licensed architect, one licensed landscape architect, and one licensed civil engineer. One of the required team members must practice in the Philadelphia region.

While the competition sites have a Philly focus, the insights gained through the design competition will apply to other cities seeking to retrofit green stormwater infrastructure into an existing urban fabric. Design professionals from around the country are encouraged to participate!

Nine finalists will be selected to present at an awards event at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University on March 7, 2013. A jury will select one winning design for each of the three sites. The three winning competition teams will receive a cash prize of $10,000.

A  Competition Packet with the full details is available online.

Registration Deadline: Friday, November 30, 2012.

Submission Deadline: January 22, 2013.

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