“Greening the Streetscape: Complete Streets & Stormwater Management” webinar recap

This month we closed out the first half of our monthly webinar series with “Greening the Streetscape: Complete Streets & Stormwater Management.” To learn more, view the recording of the webinar above, download the PDF of the presentation, or read the full recap below.

Complete Streets

Register now for “Greening the Streetscape: Complete Streets & Stormwater Management”

The National Complete Streets Coalition is excited to continue our monthly webinar series, designed to help professionals from a variety of disciplines put Complete Streets principles into action. Implementation & Equity 201: The Path Forward to Complete Streets is exploring a new issue each month related to creating safer, healthier, more equitable streets.

Our next webinar will be Greening the Streetscape: Complete Streets & Stormwater Management, taking place on Monday, July 10th from 1:00-2:00 PM EDT. Co-host NACTO will join the Coalition in answering questions such as: How can transportation projects be designed to benefit the environment, promote public health, and manage stormwater, all while creating vibrant, attractive, walkable places? And what innovative strategies are cities around the country using to make their streets safer and more resilient?

Complete Streets

Smart growth news – August 23

Creek Restoration Keys Cincinnati’s Battle Against Urban Blight, Stormwater
The New York Times, August 22, 2011
But because of the 3,700-foot-long, 19.5-foot-wide pipe underneath the area, the decaying neighborhood is now part of one of the largest public works projects in Cincinnati’s history and one of the nation’s biggest experiments in green infrastructure.

King County: Transfer of Development Rights Protects 700 Acres Around Sammamish
Sammamish Patch (Wash.), August 22, 2011
More than 700 acres of rural forests and pasturelands in the Patterson Creek watershed near the city of Sammamish will be permanently protected under an innovative Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) agreement signed by King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Our partnership with the city of Sammamish helps create a compact, vibrant urban landscape with walkable neighborhoods and abundant green space,” Constantine said.

As businesses come and go, views of downtown differ
Colorado Springs Gazette, August 20, 2011
Four years ago, Colorado Springs business people and civic leaders finalized Imagine Downtown, an ambitious plan touting more retail, housing, employers and attractions for the area. Today, supporters say the economy has made it tough for downtown to become the round-the-clock, live-work-play environment they’ve visualized, but strides have been made.

Complete Streets

Stormwater management, green infrastructure and the challenges of redevelopment

Smart growth strategies are a key part of protecting water quality. Compact, mixed-use development means fewer paved and impervious surfaces, which helps reduce environmentally damaging stormwater runoff. Walkable neighborhoods with transportation choices mean fewer vehicle miles traveled, which helps reduce air pollution that falls into rivers as rain. And redeveloping greyfields or brownfields can significantly improve the environmental performance of a building site, while accommodating growth that might otherwise occur in greenfields.

Green infrastructure – including green roofs, rain gardens, tree plantings and permeable pavement – can go even further to protect water quality. Environmental advocates (including Smart Growth America) support rules that would require green infrastructure for new development projects as a way to protect waterways and water quality. But should redevelopment projects be subject to the same regulatory requirements for stormwater as greenfield development?

Because redevelopment already benefits water quality, and because it already faces greater regulatory and site-specific hurdles than greenfield development, many advocates argue no. Several groups, including Smart Growth America, have expressed concern that holding redevelopment projects to the same stormwater standards as greenfield development will raise the cost of these projects and discourage developers from reusing already-developed land. Water quality groups counter that evidence is lacking to support this fear, and that other regulatory factors are more significant in making development decisions.