Project Overview

Changing Trends in Severe Storm Weather

Detrimental stormwater runoff and flooding are becoming increasingly common in Mercer County as this decade has seen more extreme weather events than ever before in the country's history. Furthermore, increases in impervious surface coverage due to rapid urbanisation makes the area particularly flood prone.

Impact on the Community

The phenomenon has far-reaching negative impacts, ranging from property damage and the costly process of rebuilding, to more severe consequences such as displacement, injuries, and even loss of life in the most extreme cases.

Existing Mitigation Efforts

Numerous government efforts in the form of stormwater research, mitigation infrastructure, and legal ordinances have been made but top-down approaches can suffer from bureaucratic inefficiencies and difficulties in policy making.

Princeton sustainability organisations work with the local government and the public school district as consultants in their sustainability efforts and act as a source of education and advocacy for residents. However, they have expressed difficulties spreading their message to residents and creating a strong presence in residential communities.

Affected Population

It is known that all residents of Mercer County are at risk of being impacted by storms. However, we must recognize that natural disasters do not affect everyone equally. Individuals with the lowest incomes are more vulnerable because they are more likely to reside in areas that are more susceptible to storm damage, are less prepared for the economic impact that follows a storm, and find it more difficult to relocate.

Intended Direction of Project

As a result, year after year, residents endure the consequences of severe storm-weather, with residents who earn lower incomes particularly at risk. The situation calls for a more community-driven approach that centres around building the agency residents need to mitigate the impacts themselves according to their unique risk factors.

View the Downpour Detour design brief.

Mission Statement

“Close the storm resiliency gap for underserved Princeton residents”


This project envisions a future in which residents of Princeton and the surrounding areas have a strong sense of community and feel that the ability to mitigate stormwater is within their own power. We envision a future where all residents, regardless of their socioeconomic status, can be resilient to the effects of severe storm weather and flooding.

Call to Action

Join us in the “Downpour Detour” program to help underserved communities fight the realities of climate change from their own backyard. Together we can create a future in which all residents, regardless of their socioeconomic status, can be resilient to the effects of severe storm weather and flooding.