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Beyond Low Impact Development: Compact Urban Form as the Ultimate BMP

Beyond Low Impact Development: Compact Urban Form as the Ultimate BMP
Katy, Texas

An exploration of compact urban form as the ultimate BMP (Best Management Practice)

A competition to explore “new” ways to address sustainable storm water management near the Gulf Coast.  The goal of the competition was to apply “Low Impact Development (LID) to standard suburban patterns in the Houston Area.  It assumed a low density cul-de-sac pattern with no jobs, no retail, no life but sought only  to green wash a suburban pattern that was unsustainable in many other ways.

Instead we developed a robust and complete town plan on just over 1/4 of the original site and left the rest in farms and wetlands. Our proposal not only improved the native hydrology of the site but also housed more people in proper neighborhoods, offered schools, workplaces and even a genuinely integrated agricultural interface.

We demonstrated that our pattern could be replicated over four quadrants to create a socially, politically and economically viable town while still preserving the rich agricultural heritage that not only made it picturesque but generated

Instead of building more and more suburbs we proposed the rediscovery of genuine small towns that offered far more diverse opportunities for live style, work style and social well being.

And we killed on storm water too…

Instead of the rough treatment of bio swales and retention basins we proposed tradition urban form as the true Best Management Practice.


Dreiling Terrones Architecture

Crabtree Group