Mother Earth Living


Kansas City's 18Broadway Urban Rain Garden Showcases Sustainability

A corporate-sponsored urban rain garden demonstrates food-growing techniques, renewable energy and stormwater management—all in one square block in downtown Kansas City.



The 18Broadway grounds and gardens can process 49,000 gallons of rainwater, and the site can store another 40,000 gallons in underground cisterns. The block’s 89,000-gallon processing capacity is the equivalent of about a 3.5-inch rainfall.
Photo Courtesy 360 Architecture
18Broadway’s five garden tiers, including nearly 100 raised beds, produce tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, kale, gourds, pumpkins, onions and more for area food banks. The site is expected to produce 2 to 4 tons of vegetables each growing season.
Photo Courtesy 360 Architecture
Graphic panels explain the site to visitors. “We want people not just to see, but to understand,” says Gene Lund, project architect at 360 Architecture.
Photo Courtesy 360 Architecture
A prototype wind turbine towers above the garden’s permeable pavers and raised garden beds, providing power to pedestrian lights.
Photo Courtesy 360 Architecture
Gardener and DST employee Kathy Pemberton chose food plants based on what is most popular at food agencies. Peppers and tomatoes often top agency wish lists. “We also kept in mind what would be visually appealing from the street,” she says.
Photo Courtesy 360 Architecture
Street-level bioswales gulp water running down city streets before it heads to sewers. Planted with native plants and grasses, especially those resistant to damage from heavy metals and salt, the bioswales are modeled after a forest floor.
Photo Courtesy 360 Architecture
Though it’s only been operational for about half a growing season, 18Broadway has already hosted community educational events. Owner DST Systems plans to continue its community involvement by teaming with area schools and other communty groups.
Photo Courtesy 360 Architecture
18Broadway’s five garden tiers, including nearly 100 raised beds, produce tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, kale, gourds, pumpkins, onions and more for area food banks. The site is expected to produce 2 to 4 tons of vegetables each growing season.
Photo Courtesy 360 Architecture

















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