Historic Fourth Ward Park Makes Art of Recycling Pond Water

April 11, 2016

Atlanta’s Historic Fourth Ward Park project recently received the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s Envision rating system’s Gold Award.

ISI was cofounded in 2011 by ASCE, the American Public Works Association, and the American Council of Engineering Companies.

Historic Fourth Ward Park is one of the first components in the BeltLine Project, which provides a network of public parks, multi-use trails, and transit along a historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling downtown Atlanta.

HDR worked closely with Atlanta BeltLine Inc., the Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, and the community to design a park that features a stormwater retention pond, while serving multiple purposes for the adjacent neighborhood. Direction for this project originated from conversations among citizens discussing local stormwater issues.

The park, which is designed to provide stormwater drainage relief within a 300-acre drainage basin, uses artistic elements to aerate and recycle pond water. The stormwater pond serves as the park’s centerpiece, surrounded by walking trails, urban plazas, native plantings, and an amphitheater.

The project has generated adjacent development and revitalization, providing the cornerstone for a sustainable, high-density, and high-quality urban transformation along with an outstanding design solution for a combined sewer overflow problem.

“Envision is beginning to influence projects in just the way that the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure hoped,” said HDR Sustainability Director, Michaella Wittmann, LEED Fellow, ENV SP.

“The Fourth Ward Park project started as a typical stormwater management/flooding problem, and turned into a solution that addressed the problem and resulted in economic and community development, environmental restoration, and creation of a park. We’re proud that this project could meet high standards of sustainability while also improving community livability in Atlanta.”

The ISI Envision rating system measures sustainable infrastructure projects using criteria divided into five broad categories: quality of life, leadership, natural world, resource allocation, and climate and risk.

Learn more about Envision and ISI.

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