Terraced Sidelot Bioswale

Mark lives on a street that is full of vacant lots and abandoned buildings in Troy Hill. He has been working diligently to transform the block into a lively space with occupied homes and beautiful green spaces. Like many Pittsburgh lots, the lot that Mark is currently working on has some interesting topography. In fact, it is entirely made up of terraces and is raised about 15 feet off the street.

The design for the space incorporates this interesting topography by using each terraced section for different purposes, like vegetable garden beds, a brick patio, a bioswale to capture rainwater, a fish pond and a small open grassy space. In contrast to the lack of usable green spaces elsewhere on the block, this lot makes a variety of outdoor activities possible.

While this project will take several years to accomplish, Mark has used the ReClaim Northside program to kick off the first phase of the project — that is, to restore the main part of the lot that can be seen from the street and to start excavating the years of debris built up on the terraces.