Planning & Community Development

Back to Blog February 2, 2016

Kyle Brown (MCRP '16) Soaking up Experience at the Philadelphia Water Department

Author: Steven Schrayer
Kyle Brown (MCRP '16) student at his internship at Philadelphia Water Department

Kyle Brown (MCRP ’16) is finishing up his time with Philadelphia Water Department. Kyle worked as a full-time summer intern in the Policy and Partnerships team at PWD, doing policy work and research to help them implement the Green City, Clean Waters plan.

Philadelphia is one of many older cities that use a combined wastewater and stormwater sewer system. The problem: when it rains and the system can’t handle the extra volume, sewage overflows into streams, creeks, and rivers. Green City, Clean Waters is the first federally approved plan to reduce combined sewer overflows by using green infrastructure—trees, green roofs, rain gardens, and other vegetated features that infiltrate and evaporate water instead of releasing it into the sewers. The goal: invest in surface features that improve our communities and contribute to the economy of the region, while creating a more environmentally resilient city.


“I was really excited to get this position because I knew how renowned and groundbreaking Philly’s CSO control plan was. We learned about it in Environmental Planning and Sustainable Community Design and Development. What I didn’t realize, though, was how much actually goes into the implementation side,” Kyle shared. “I loved immersing myself in these tough policy challenges, trying to come up with solutions that make Philly a more sustainable city but that also work within a really complex political and regulatory environment. In that way, Planning Law and Planning Politics and Administration really helped me out a lot.”


Kyle is looking forward to switching gears in the fall. He will be working with Dr. Lynn Mandarano and People’s Emergency Center to help them implement the Green Neighborhood Toolkit developed by Dr. Mandarano and made possible by funding from the Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities program.