Atlanta currently has a density of 630 people per square mile and is the 9th largest city population in the US. For Atlanta to implement sustainable living tactics, while also improving the quality of living will be a unique and continual struggle not experienced in other urban areas. Atlanta’s geography resembles the characteristics of lower density suburban areas (suburban sprawl post) yet is considered to be a higher density urban area due to its estimated population of 5.2 million. In other words, Atlanta has a lot of people that demand a big city’s benefits and services for living in a big city, yet, Atlanta’s geography is sprawling, and these city benefits and services are in many cases, fragmented, sparse and not available to the city as a whole entity. Atlanta’s challenges are those of both low and high-density areas.
In Atlanta, we have the unique challenge of balancing the amount of building/hardscape coverage with the amount of permeable surfaces for a project. When it rains in Atlanta, it’s easy to find flash flooding, rain flows resembling level 5 river rapids flowing down streets, overwhelmed storm drains, and creeks that look like rivers. The flooding disables the city and pollutes our water sources.
The devastating effects of the flash flood can be mitigated through an increased focus on changes to runoff velocities and volumes, and proper urban growth planning. Architects can play a big role in managing water runoff for cities. Architects must continue to educate themselves on how to design highly effective rain collection and distribution designs and systems to help alleviate water runoff.The basic idea is to keep your storm water on your property