Green Streets icon - Inhabitect


A multi-functioning thoroughfare.

Metro areas like Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, and Milwaukee are constantly facing flooding issues and declining water quality. The culprit? Extreme changes in weather patterns coupled with aging real estate development, overloaded stormwater systems, and outdated management practices.

‘Green streets’ combat these issues by using Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) technologies. Rather than overpowering natural systems or trying to control ‘waste’ water through a community’s outdated ‘gray’ system of gutters, sewers, and pipes, green street installations use a combination of green/vegetated surfaces to provide a resilient system that supports the failing or overly taxed stormwater infrastructure.

Used at street level, this GSI solution reduces stormwater runoff volumes, slows down the speed/velocity of runoff, and increases infiltration rates into native groundwater systems.

Green Street Benefits

Stormwater Management

As a valuable part of the stormwater treatment train, green streets are highly effective in managing stormwater runoff volume and reducing velocity.

Increased Property Values

While a green street is typically installed by a municipality or county, the area’s individual building owners usually see an increase in the value of their property and are able to use these green street installations as marketable amenities while also adding to the resiliency of their immediate area.

Better Air Quality

In nature, different plants provide different micro and macro habitats for a variety of wildlife. These bustling ecosystems mean greater CO2 consumption, which means cleaner air for you and your community.


In creating natural spaces that closely mimic what was there before development, animal and plant species are able to thrive.

Enhanced Community Livability

A green street increases the livability and safety of a community through its built and natural environment, green space availability, pedestrian/bicycle access, economic prosperity, and more. And with an increase in green spaces and livability, comes a higher quality of life.

Decreased Infrastructure Costs

With a green street installation, there will be less stress on the area’s stormwater infrastructure system. By reducing the volume of water leaving your site and avoiding the over-taxing of these traditional ‘gray’ systems, there’s less cost associated with maintaining them. And for those on private property, it can also mean lower stormwater fees.

Decreased Ambient Temperature

Green streets offer increased evaporative cooling surface area. Surfaces that traditionally reflect and/or hold heat from the sun are now covered in vegetation. Through evapotranspiration, the urban heat island effect is minimized and a resulting cooling effect can be enjoyed. By using the green street approach.

Green Street Visions (Before & After)

We love to dream and to visualize what ‘could be.’ When it comes to reimagining how our streets are constructed, there’s nothing better than putting those dreams onto paper. 

Inhabitect is your one-stop shop when it comes to creating, pursuing, and implementing your green stormwater infrastructure dreams. The images below are just a handful of our own green street dreams. 

Let’s Talk

Green streets aren’t only beneficial in big cities—it rains everywhere. Whether you’re in a large metro area or a small town, we’d love to hear about your project. Click to schedule a time to talk with us about your green street project, policy-driven solutions, or questions.