Michael Smith Mechanical Engineer + Design Strategist

Selected Projects

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Graduate Thesis: Soak It Up, Philly

2011, Spring

In the midst of higher residential stormwater management charges, the Philadelphia Water Department sought to gain the support and participation of residents in a new city-wide plan to enhance stormwater management. A thesis partner and I interviewed residents and other stakeholders in the Philadelphia water system, researched behavior change models and techniques as well as historical examples of widespread change, and synthesized information to generate approaches based on design research.

Through our design process, we developed the Soak It Up, Philly program to motivate residents to participate in the city’s plan. It consists of a simple first step, an incentive to act, and a motivating website interface. The entire program will be supported by public awareness events and strategic partnerships with organizations such as home improvement stores.