Green Infrastructure: Multiple Benefits for Urban Waters Communities

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The modern built urban landscape impedes the natural processes and changes the environments. Often, they are eliminated altogether. As a result, urban hydrology is complex and changing.  Water flow paths, pollutant discharges, and flood impacts are more difficult to project on an ongoing basis. Urban areas are subject to the impacts of increased flood peaks, stormwater run-off, water quality issues, and increased heat. Climate change and historical inequities compound all these.

There is seldom a single solution for these multiple issues that urban communities face. Green infrastructure comes pretty close, especially when planned, designed, and implemented equitably. Members of the Urban Waters Learning Network (UWLN) are working on green infrastructure to address different environmental issues. Case study examples highlighted here come from Providence, RI; New Orleans, LA, and Tucson, AZ.

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sign titled "The Rain Garden Revolution" describes the elements of a rain garden as well as their importance.
Photo: Watershed Management Group