Ultra-Urban Green Infrastructure Guidelines

Cover of Ultra Urban Green Infrastructure Guide document

Green infrastructure at both large and site-scales is a key tool for protecting the environment and improving communities in Denver. Large scale green infrastructure is the network of parks, open spaces, drainageways, and floodplains that use ecological process to offset the environmental impacts of hard, dirty, and hot urban surfaces like roads and buildings. Site-scale green infrastructure includes individual control measures that capture and filter stormwater runoff at its source. The road network is one of the largest urban pollution and runoff sources, so it among the best opportunities for site-scale green infrastructure when designed so its soil and vegetation remains healthy over time.

Denver’s Ultra-Urban Green Infrastructure Guidelines is a document to aid design of site-scale green infrastructure, particularly in the public right-of-way where it is space-constrained and subject to high pollutant loads. It includes high level project considerations, example design drawings/details, and guidance for installation and maintenance. Each green infrastructure practice within the Ultra-Urban Green Infrastructure Guidelines has been chosen for its suitability in Denver’s climate and dense, urban environment. It contains fact sheets for five types of green infrastructure: streetside stormwater planters, bumpout stormwater planters, green gutters, green alleys, and tree pit/tree trenches.

Denver has implemented hundreds of site-scale green infrastructure facilities in the public right-of-way designed using the Ultra-Urban Green Infrastructure Guidelines. The facilities successfully capture and reduce runoff from the street, remove trash and pollutants, and support a healthy urban tree canopy and understory. View the Green Infrastructure Project Portfolio to see examples of streetscapes that have been transformed following the principles of these Guidelines.

Ultra Urban Green Infrastructure Guide(PDF, 26MB)

Report Sections

  • Introduction
  • Site-Scale Green Infrastructure Practice Selection, Design, and Maintenance
  • References
  • Fact Sheets
    • Streetside Stormwater Planter Fact Sheet
    • Bumpout Stormwater Planter Fact Sheet
    • Green Gutter Fact Sheet
    • Green Alley Fact Sheet
    • Tree Trench/Pit Fact Sheet
  • Appendices
    • Development Plan Review Checklist
    • Inspection and Maintenance Checklist
    • Plant Lists
    • Forestry Memo