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.
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?
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.