One of the biggest environmental challenges faced by U.S. cities and towns is coping with the stormwater that accumulates from even routine rainfall. Urban areas are covered in roads and buildings, which prevent rainwater from being absorbed into the ground. Instead, it flows over rooftops, parking lots, streets and sidewalks, picking up pollutants along the way. The resulting stormwater can wind up flooding homes, overwhelming sewers and treatment plants and polluting surrounding waterways with contaminated run-off and untreated sewage.
In the past, many of these problems were addressed by building hard infrastructure that relied on pipes, storage tanks and bigger treatment plants. But as these measures have become more costly and difficult to implement, municipal planners increasingly are turning to green infrastructure systems, which help manage stormwater and wastewater through conservation of forests, fields and wetlands as well as engineered processes that draw inspiration from nature.
To help communities implement green infrastructure, Regional Plan Association has produced a guide outlining successful green infrastructure practice. The guide showcases nine approaches that planners and policy makers have relied on to successfully integrate these technologies, from securing spaces to funding construction to managing implementation.
Read the full report.
Read the news release.