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A multi-pronged approach to stormwater management

As engineers and landscape architects working in the built environment, we are increasingly faced with retrofit situations that must work with and around a variety of existing conditions and constraints. As stormwater requirements increase, requiring more storage or larger footprints, we must think creatively to locate and design systems to fit into an already constrained… More

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Regulatory Drivers of Green Infrastructure

Why do we have green infrastructure? Is it simply a better way to manage stormwater in our cities – or are do regulatory drivers relating to stormwater discharges encourage its use? What are the impacts of our federal regulatory structure on market demands? All of these questions are related. If you live in a medium-sized… More

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Urban Stream by Kaizer Rangwala

How impervious cover impacts stream ecosystems – and what we can do about it

Impervious cover associated with roadways, parking lots, sidewalks, and rooftops feels necessary for the needs of people in the built environment, but can destroy the ecological integrity of the receiving streams that must accommodate all the associated runoff. Stream or river health is closely linked to land-use activities and pollutant management practices (or lack thereof)… More

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Chicago Green Street

Do Green Streets Actually Work for Stormwater Management?

Green Streets have become a more common feature of the urban landscape in cities and towns across the United States and abroad. And for good reason: they provide substantial value in community aesthetics, redevelopment, livability and environmental compliance. You may know from personal experience or previous blog posts that water resources and ecological engineers use… More

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Improving Stormwater Control Measure Performance with Biochar

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know we’ve had a recent spate of articles about biochard – from its history, to a discussion of possible applications and controversies, to a question-and-answer following  a recent webinar about what designers need to know about the product. Because of the tremendous potential for… More

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How Much Should You Water Your Tree?

Healthy trees can grow anywhere, including cities, provided they receive enough water, soil, and sunlight. Research shows that vigorous urban trees keep people healthier, cool cities in summer, warm homes in winter, help kids learn better, decrease car accident rates, raise real estate values, and decrease crime dramatically. Even with these myriad benefits, recent heat… More

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Why are Cities Using Green Streets for Stormwater Management?

Urban stormwater management and surface water quality protection is a decades old field of science and engineering. Engineers in the field are largely focused on mitigating the impacts of impervious surfaces like roads, sidewalks, parking lots and rooftops in urban areas to protect aquatic habitat and species, reduce drinking water treatment costs, and comply with… More

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A Cooling Tool for CSO Hot Spots

There are many significant benefits to an MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) approach to managing urban stormwater. Many newer cities are fortunate to have such a system in place, but a great many don’t. Instead, they have a combined sewer system (CSS) where the same set of pipes handles both stormwater runoff and waste… More

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How Sandy Does Bioretention Soil Need to Be?

Bioretention media is an important topic in the design world. As green infrastructure solutions gain acceptance, there is increased focus on finding the most effective media for on-site stormwater management. But there isn’t (yet) a lot of agreement on what the media consists of, and how to make it both functional for stormwater while being… More

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