Pittsburg, CA, March 21, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- The Pittsburg community adopted a stalled commercial construction project site to revamp the Old Town Plaza, creating a central space for their weekly farmers' market and for special events.
The Old Town Plaza design provides an open, multi-use, pedestrian-friendly plaza. Shade trees, interlocking paving, banners, benches and decorative lighting help define the plaza’s central axis. A recessed oval terrace allows ample audience gathering space adjacent to a canopy-covered performance stage. Civic art elements acknowledge Pittsburg’s relationship with its five sister cities (Shenyang, China; Shimonoseki, Japan; Pohang, Korea; Isola Delle Femmine, Italy; Yahualica, Mexico).
Integrated stormwater management techniques insure compliance with both regional and national clean water program requirements. The project was designed to collect stormwater runoff so peak flows and flow durations match pre-project conditions and to prevent pollutants from entering the storm drain system. The plaza’s on-site stormwater management is achieved with permeable pavers, infiltration planters and Silva Cells.
Permeable Concrete Pavers Enhance Design and Increase Stormwater Infiltration
During the design process, the landscape architect explored various paving options and ultimately choose an interlocking permeable paver system. Permeable pavers allowed for design flexibility in paving pattern, color, and texture while insuring compliance with the project’s stormwater management goals. This paving system allows stormwater infiltration, thus recharging the groundwater and supporting the tree growth.
The landscape architect approached the hardscape design with a focus on combining multiple colors and patterns. Working with the Basalite product representative, the design team explored custom paver colors to achieve the overall design vision. Ultimately, a custom color palette was selected for the lower plaza while the main plaza integrated paver colors from the manufacturer’s standard color palette. The pavers were specified by the project landscape architect, Hansen McArdle, manufactured by Basalite Concrete Products, LLC, and installed by European Paving Designs.
A distinct and vibrant pedestrian space is created by utilizing 7,500 square feet of permeable pavers at the plaza’s central corridor and oval terrace.
Silva Cell Installation
With hardscape as the predominant plaza design element, it was important to create an environment that would support healthy plaza trees. The landscape architect encouraged the City to consider incorporating Silva Cells in the paving section to maximize soil volume for tree root growth.
The Silva Cell, manufactured by Deep Root Partners, L.P, is a load-bearing, subsurface modular framework that supports healthy trees by allowing sufficient soil volume for the anticipated tree root structure at maturity. The Silva Cell framework is backfilled with uncompacted soil medium that supports tree growth. Silva Cells also provide another method of stormwater interception and storage.
The City of Pittsburg recognized the importance of establishing healthy, mature shade trees in this plaza. With this in mind, the permeable paver section was designed to include one layer of Silva Cells. With this subsurface framework in place, each of the plaza trees is provided with approximately 500 cubic feet of root growth area (compared to 64 cubic feet allowed in a typical 4’ square tree grate).
Old Town Plaza has received positive reviews for incorporating eco-friendly landscape elements into a community centerpiece. The multi-use plaza design combines visual interest and spatial flexibility to create a stage for community events and serve as a model for aesthetically and economically revitalizing a downtown area.