Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-5-2018


The accumulation of water runoff during rain storms is a major problem in New York City’s combination water systems, forcing water treatment plants to release untreated excess water. To avoid overfilling of the sewer system by this grey water, pocket parks and gardens will be used to absorb the excess rainfall. We will be harnessing nature’s resources with current technologies such as: solar panels combined with rain catching canopies, to beautify the environment, educate the public about sustainability, stimulate growth to local businesses through increased foot traffic and bringing social awareness on environmental issues.

The canopies are designed to collect the maximum amount of rainwater based on its surface area, maximize solar collection and retention. Our flawless design has analyzed expected rainfall and optimal solar angles for the solar panel placement on the canopy to provide sunshade for benches near existing flower beds or canopy placements, collect rainwater for irrigation, and harness solar radiation. To function as a rain catcher, nonporous tarp and a water pipe will be used to collect water for the planters and supplied into clay pots for osmotic irrigation of plants; while solar panels supplies energy to electrical outlets.

Upon completion of the minimal viable product using mostly recycled wood and plywood materials, the density of the canopy shade proved to be top heavy thereby making the overall structure unstable, posing safety concern. To maintain tension at the bottom, the base column can either be bolted to the sides of the planter, ground or immersed in Earth with bolts secured by washers. The new design still use environmentally friendly materials made of canvas and worn on a prefabricated aluminum to maintain conformity and aesthetics of the previous wooden designs; it is lighter in weight, stand-alone and remains adaptive to any structure without pocket parks.


This poster was presented at the 29th Semi-Annual Honors and Undergraduate Research Scholars Poster Presentation at New York City College of Technology, Dec. 5, 2018.

Faculty mentor: Prof. Alexander Aptekar, Architectural Technology.

Customer Discovery: Follow up to Spring 2018 project design, implementation and deployment.