MNLA, as part of the Urban Engineers Inc. team, was awarded the top prize at the 2013 Infill Philadelphia: Soak it Up! design competition. The entry, Stormwater ReStore, was the winner in the Retail Retrofit category. Sponsored by the Philadelphia Water Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Community Design Collaborative, this competition challenged design professionals to show how green stormwater infrastructure can transform Philadelphia neighborhoods. The innovative designs generated now serve as prototypes for green stormwater infrastructure throughout the city and nation. They illustrate potential public/private partnerships and aid property owners who seek returns on their investments.
One of the features of the team’s Stormwater ReStore design is the transformation of an underused vacant lot on site into a roof drain garden--a public plaza and rain garden sized to handle the runoff from the retail store's two-acre rooftop. The design captures space in the parking lot to create the Hidden River Plaza, which features a dry river bed and shady places for shoppers to rest.