The comfort of Light Imprint infrastructure
I love these boardwalks in Carlton Landing, a new town in Oklahoma. The houses face a tiny pedestrian thoroughfare that consists of the boardwalk and rain gardens. The rainwater simply soaks into the ground.
This is the ultimate in Light Imprint infrastructure, which reduces the dependence of stormwater pipes that channelize water in heavy rains. This approach makes a lot of sense as we enter an era when more frequent storms are predicted.
Such a street offers a great quality of life. The intimacy and quiet that the residents experience looks extraordinary. The sense of community living in these houses has got to be strong.
The pedestrian network at Carlton Landing is extensive and features a series of these boardwalks, with many connecting to the Town Green, the design team reports. Boardwalks vary in width depending on the size of homes that border them. The one below is scaled to permit bicycling, and makes a nice venue a dinner gathering of neighbors.
Carlton Landing is an incorporated municipality—the only traditional neighborhood development with that distinction—and will soon have its own wastewater treatment plant. The Light Imprint approach complements the wastewater system. Light Imprint is extensive and prominent in Carlton Landing, visible in parks, streets, and the how the development blends into the natural landscape.
Oklahoma is in the Sunbelt, and so they don’t get much snow. Such boardwalks are probably not the ticket for Upstate New York, where I live. Nevertheless, such a street could be built anywhere, with appropriate regional materials and techniques.
The Carlton Landing team consciously plans for climate change, stating that the town “exemplifies the kind of new settlement that can serve as a receiver community to those who'll eventually be seeking refuge from low-lying coastal areas.”
DPZ CoDesign did the master plan, Tom Low of Civic by Design provided planning, architecture, the light imprint design, Brett Mann is landscape architect, and Jim Hasenback is town architect.