GTAA Partners in Project Green - green parking lot program

By: Gtaa Partners In Project Green  09-12-2011

Partners in Project Green, in partnership with the University of Toronto’s Centre for Landscape Research, offers companies in the Pearson Eco-Business Zone a Green Parking Lot Program.

The program offers companies assistance in the (re)design of their parking lots and landscaping to include green features that can help them reduce costs, enhance safety and enrich the aesthetics of their facility, while improving local air and water quality.

The Green Parking Lot Program has three steps:

  1. Site Visit – a site visit is conducted to review existing parking and landscaped areas to identify opportunities and consult the business on their ideas for the site.
  2. Preliminary Design – the Centre for Landscape Research develops a high-level preliminary design concept that looks at all opportunities on the site. This concept is reviewed by the business to determine the landscape interventions of most interest.
  3. Final Design – based on the input from staff, the Centre for Landscape Research finalizes construction ready drawings of the landscape (re)design, develops phasing options and associated costs with its implementation.

Benefits of a green parking lot include:

  • Reduced or eliminated landscape irrigation costs
  • Improved stormwater retention and reduced treatment costs
  • Reduced pollutant loading in receiving watercourses
  • Enhanced aesthetics for your facility

Program Sponsors:



The following are examples of local companies who have designed green parking lots through the program:


Urban development alters the natural hydrologic cycle by replacing pervious vegetated areas with impervious roofs and pavements. These changes in surface cover reduce infiltration, and dramatically increase surface runoff, resulting in erosion of stream channels and increased potential for downstream flooding. As these higher runoff volumes enter receiving waters, they carry with them a variety of pollutants that ultimately degrade river ecosystems and contaminate swimming areas.

The use of permeable pavement and bioretention swales for treatment of runoff from parking lots, driveways and roads allows rainwater to slowly infiltrate into the ground, as it did prior to urbanization. As more water infiltrates, less runs off, providing for improved protection of downstream aquatic habitat, property and swimming areas.

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