Session Details

Parks, Energy, and Water: Integrating Systems for Community Benefit

Through innovative approaches and community partnerships, cities and their utility partners are finding ways to provide energy and stormwater infrastructure with community open space benefits.

Xcel Energy will share the story of working with Thornton, CO, to add neighborhood green space as part of the construction of a new electric sub-station. The innovative design includes an architecturally-designed perimeter and landscape, including a lawn, vegetation, and paths. The company purchased extra land for a park buffer zone to enhance the appearance and walkability of the neighborhood and connect homes with a nearby school and library.

In Minneapolis, MN, The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) and their designer, Barr Engineering, in conjunction with public and private stakeholders, coordinated planning, design, and construction of the Towerside District Stormwater System in a rapidly- redeveloping neighborhood.  After conducting brownfield remediation, MWMO built an integrated district stormwater system with added public green space to meet local stormwater requirements at a cost equal to or less than the cost to meet local requirements on each parcel individually, ultimately saving 15%. The project included four primary components: conveyance between private property, stormwater treatment in filtration basins, underground storage, and stormwater reuse system for irrigation of the private developments, all layered within an artful stormwater park. Towerside District Stormwater System provides economic incentives for redevelopment and new housing in formerly industrial land and a model for managing runoff in a shared manner between multiple privately-owned parcels.

Session Presentation Slides

Slide Deck: Parks, Energy, and Water: Integrating Systems for Community Benefit


  • Learn how to engage effectively with utilities in their energy infrastructure planning process.
  • Learn creative approaches to incorporating park space and community space into utility infrastructure design.
  • Learn real-life examples of successful implementation and outcomes.