The Georgia Street project is part of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) pilot program, an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden that seeks to transform and foster more sustainable site development projects, particularly in urban settings. The SITES initiative employs a rating system developed in tandem with United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The street incorporates native plants and proven hardy urban performers that provide sequential bloom, color and interest.
The wide boardwalk made of sustainably harvested hardwood that traverses the corridor’s center, covers a rainwater infiltration chamber allowing stormwater to percolate into the ground reducing the load on the city’s combined sewers. Canopy trees and associated plantings reduce the urban heat island effect, sequester CO2, mitigate hot Indiana summers and insert a living ecology into the urban environment. Other sustainable measures included in Georgia Street include native plants, energy efficient lighting, recycled and locally sourced hardscape materials and captured rainwater used for plant irrigation reducing potable water use. The street is equipped with a total of six recycling containers located at the end of each block.
Georgia Street is home to two IPL electric vehicle charging stations. The plugs, located on Georgia Street between Meridian and Illinois streets, fit most electric vehicles. Visitors can also travel sustainably to Georgia Street by bike – the Street boasts parking for up to 30 bikes and can be easily accessed via the Indianapolis Cultural Trail located at the west end of Georgia Street on Capitol Avenue.