Design Green

There are many resources for incorporating green design into neighborhood improvements.

Tree Planting

Greenworks, the City’s new sustainability plan, has a goal of planting 300,000 new trees by 2015. University City is lucky to have a beautiful tree canopy over the much of the neighborhood, but there are still plenty of empty tree pits and other locations that can benefit from new tree plantings.

UC Green is a cooperative community greening organization in University City. Using volunteer labor, UC Green can help get a tree planted on your block, while also helping you learn how to take care of your new tree.

Tree Tender Training is provided by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, in partnership with Penn State Cooperative Extension. The nine hour program provides hands-on tree care training for residents of the five-county Philadelphia region and teaches tree biology, identification, planting, proper care and working within your community.

Green Roofs

Green roofs can take many forms, but all are partially or completely covered by vegetation with the goals of reducing stormwater runoff, reducing building heating and cooling needs, minimizing urban heat islands, and providing urban wildlife habitat.

Map of Green Roofs in University City

Green Roof Service LLC offers consulting services on green roof installation and has extensive experience in the Philadelphia area, including work on the first rowhouse with a green roof in the city.

BioNeighbors is a licensed and insured local roofing contractor that installs affordable green roofs and restores flat roofs with cool coatings.  This Philadelphia company has been installing green roofs since 2007, including those at White Dog Café and The Partnership CDC.

Roofmeadow is a Philadelphia based full-service green roof installation firm. Roofmeadow can provide green roof engineering and design services and can also oversee installation by a licensed green roof installation company in its network of contractors.  In Philadelphia, Roofmeadow has worked on the PECO Headquarters, Friends Center, The Radian, and The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

Green Roof Tax Credit: If your business is thinking about installing a green roof, you may be eligible for a business privilege tax credit of up to 25%.

UCD Green Roof Workshop: find out more about green roofs from a workshop that was recently hosted by UCD

Stormwater Management


Stormwater Charges – The Philadelphia Water Department currently charges its users a fee to cover the costs of managing stormwater, but since July 2010, that charge has been based on the amount of stormwater that a property generates, including due to the amount of its impervious surface.

Stormwater Credits – Property owners who are able to mitigate their stormwater may qualify for a credit.  If much of the gross area of your property consists of a pervious surface like grass or a green roof, you may be able to reduce your stormwater charge.  Also, if you’ve installed stormwater management systems like rain gardens and rain barrels, you may qualify for a credit. The Water Department strongly recommends that you contact them before installing new stormwater management practices to make sure that you qualify for the credit.   Contact the PWD at (215) 685-6143 or (215) 685-4935, Businesses may also qualify for low interest loans to reduce their stormwater impact.

PWD’s Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Management – As a homeowner, take the initiative to help reduce thestormwater produced by your home and to keep that water as uncontaminated as possible.

The Philadelphia Water Department periodically distributes free rain barrels to home owners. Check back often for updates and take a look at a map of where rain barrels have already been installed.

Make Your Own Rain Barrel – If you have the tools, make one yourself!

Building & Rennovating

High Performance Building Program – Pennsylvania recently created the High Performance Building Program which provides grants and loan funds for the design and construction or major renovation of buildings that meet the State’s sustainability standards.  These funds are available to small businesses, as well as individuals who are building or renovating their homes.  Loans up to $2 million are available for businesses and $100,000 for individuals.  Grants are available for up to $500,000 or 10% of the cost of the project.