Sunday, November 20, 2011

Green Infrastructure is Spreading to all Corners of the North American Continent


Report identifies actions that cities can take to become "Emerald Cities" 
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released a new report called Rooftops to Rivers II: Green Strategies for Controlling Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflows. The report discusses the considerable problem that stormwater runoff poses for communities, and describes ways that cities are using green infrastructure practices to clean up their waters, literally greening their cityscapes in the process. 

"Rooftops to Rivers II profiles the approaches taken by 14 cities in the U.S. and Canada (as well as provides examples from several others), revealing just how far the use of green infrastructure has spread and just how adaptable it is to different regions and climates, to changes in geography and geology, and to the various issues faced by each city.  Green infrastructure works everywhere," writes project attorney Noah Garrison  on the NRDC Staff Blog.

The report identifies six key actions that cities should take to maximize green infrastructure investment and to become "Emerald Cities":

  • Develop a long-term green infrastructure plan to lay out the city's vision, as well as prioritize infrastructure investment.
  • Develop and enforce a strong retention standard for stormwater to minimize the impact from development and protect water resources.
  • Require the use of green infrastructure to reduce, or otherwise manage runoff from, some portion of impervious surfaces as a complement to comprehensive planning.
  • Provide incentives for residential and commercial property owners to install green infrastructure, spurring private owners to take action.
  • Provide guidance or other affirmative assistance to accomplish green infrastructure through demonstration projects, workshops and "how-to" materials and guides.
  • Ensure a long-term, dedicated funding source is available to support green infrastructure investment.
To Learn More: To download a copy of the report, click here. For information about the first NRDC report published in 2006, click on this link to Rooftops to Rivers: Green Infrastructure Strategies for Controlling Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflows to read a story posted previously on the Water Bucket website.

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