The Focus of the Case Study at Founders Park is to employ urban sustainable design strategies, focusing primarily on the ecology of water and plants as it relates to the region of Southern California. The implementation of water conservation strategies, technology, materials, and plantings will insure Founders Park to remain diverse and productive overtime on the USC Campus. The opportunity to recreate Founders Park as an example of a landscape that is functional to campus culture, addresses contemporary environmental problems, enrich campus experiences, and prove to be cost effective.
The design of Founders Park is comprised of several planters which curve, rise and descend in harmony with each other, creating a meandering pathway system that flow into a variety of gathering spaces. The gathering spaces feature fixed and movable seating, lighting and wi-fi. The gathering spaces provide students and faculty a place of leisure outdoors, while simultaneously providing a sense of an interior space. The copper planters provide a boundary between the pedestrians and landscape plantings. The overall strategy is to provide a place of leisure, allow for the constant flow of pedestrians, and employ a water wise landscape.
The Founders Park surface allow for the process of groundwater recharge and reduction of urban runoff. By replicating natural systems, the permeable surface allows water to move downward from surface water to groundwater. The strategy reduces the amount of water runoff that gets into city storm drains, which may lead directly to the ocean. First flush urban runoff can be extremely contaminated the permeable surface counters conventional drainage systems that often creates flooding, pollution, and ground water contamination.