Permeable Paving: Managing Runoff in Parking Facilities


There are a lot of reasons to look towards permeable paving alternatives for roadways and parking lots as we get closer to a time in which going green doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. The benefits have the potential to be extraordinarily impactful. Permeable paving is achieved through one of two techniques: using a porous paving material, such as pervious concrete; or using materials that allow for space in between each section of paving (think cobblestones, plastic grids, etc.). Every hard-paved surface (estimated to account for 90% of the roadways in the US) creates conditions that make it impossible for storm water to absorb into the ground and enter the water table. This excess runoff overloads pumping systems, fills the gutters and sewer systems, and has a direct impact on flooding levels in urban areas. While it would seem obvious to opt for permeable paving solutions, it’s often cost-prohibitive to do so.


Even just a few short years ago, converting a parking facility to a permeable paving solution would have been financially untenable, and deeply unprofitable. Due to the rapid growth in the industries surrounding affordable sustainability, widespread permeable paving may not be as far off as one might think. However, the fact remains that it is still two to three times more expensive to use a porous concrete or asphalt, when compared to impermeable options. Put simply, the cost is still high enough to pose a serious barrier to entry to those trying to reduce their environmental impact. Thankfully, there are a number of avenues by which to achieve the same ultimate outcome.


Another tremendously impactful way to help correct the water table in urban areas is to support the growing movement to reforest cities. New Orleans, in particular, is a perfect candidate for this type of restoration – New Orleans is currently the most deforested city in the US. That is why we at Premium Parking have partnered with SOUL New Orleans. SOUL is a non-profit organization that is driving the effort to bring adult, native trees back to New Orleans. Not only will reforesting help in mitigating excess runoff, it will also provide much-needed shade, rebalance the water table, and reduce the impact of storms on structures. In honor of Park(ing) day, Friday October 5th, we will be turning one of our parking lots into an urban forest. While the event is underway, donations will be accepted in person, and members of SOUL will be on-location to speak about their wonderful organization.


Finally, using our shortcode, 504504, anyone that wants to donate to SOUL, or support the urban forest, can text “SOUL” or “PARK”, respectively. Texting “SOUL” will allow the community to post a donation online, of which, 100% goes to the reforestation efforts. Texting “PARK” will allow anyone that wants to support the parklet to donate as a means to support the continued maintenance and public use of the shady oasis.

Click here for more information on the event and donations.

written by Jackson Hardy