First Advisor

Todd Ferry

Date of Award

Spring 6-16-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Architecture and University Honors






Urban runoff -- Oregon -- Portland -- Management, Climatic changes -- Oregon -- Portland




This thesis worked to explore stormwater management and water runoff using urban green infrastructure in Portland, Oregon. Water management systems are used to store and treat stormwater (precipitation) that runs off impervious surfaces in our built environment. Stormwater is produced by rain and other forms of precipitation that runs off impervious surfaces such as streets, parking lots, and other sites. Climate changes are projected to include more frequent and more intensive storms which can lead to extreme flood hazards, increasing the stormwater runoff. This study analyzed the context of climate change in the city of Portland, OR, to understand how climate changes will affect water management on a local scale. This thesis explored Portland's current stormwater management system to focus in on areas of opportunity and current gaps in their water management system. To understand potential solutions in Portland, global precedents were explored to see how other cities have addressed the need for more efficient water management practices. Findings showed that rising heat temperatures, wildfires, and heavy precipitation will disproportionally affect low-income communities. Portland can better utilize their water management practices by incorporating the use of more permeable pavements, rain gardens, bio-retention basins, and green roofs. Utilizing more LID and GI systems in the city's urban fabric will help reduce flood hazards and help filter, treat, and retain water from heavy storms to prevent flooding and toxic pollutants from water runoff.


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