Mitchell Street parking lot


The City of Milwaukee owns and manages a 1.3-acre surface-level parking lot in the Historic Mitchell Street District. In partnership with the City and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Stormwater Solutions Engineering redesigned the lot, incorporating green infrastructure features to transform the unremarkable asphalt-paved space into an inviting community gathering place. SSE also redeveloped the adjoining alley containing the site’s one storm sewer outlet. SSE leveraged previously existing relationships to bring additional funds and expertise to the project, both of which supported significant public input and collaboration between community groups. That input, in turn, served to generate both ideas and support for the redesign.

The redesigned space includes a 1,300 square foot porous pavement area dedicated to snow storage in the winter, 4 bioswales that collectively store approximately 82,000 gallons of water, a 6-foot wide boardwalk, an orchard full of pear and cherry trees (for picking!), a bike stand, electrical vehicle charging stations, and lots of native landscaping. Benches, picnic tables, and shady areas under trees provide spaces for children and adults to relax or read outside of the library. The space will improve water quality in the combined sewer area, reduce the heat island effect, and enhance the neighborhood aesthetics. Detailed on-site signage will serve to educate visitors about how the new green infrastructure features help the neighborhood, City of Milwaukee as a whole, local waterways, and Lake Michigan. Project partners include the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, and the Historic Mitchell Street Business Development District. Construction is set to start Spring of 2019.