Taking it to the Streets: Green Infrastructure for Sustainable Philadelphia Communities

EPA Grant Number: R835558
Title: Taking it to the Streets: Green Infrastructure for Sustainable Philadelphia Communities
Investigators: Ballestero, Thomas P
Institution: University of New Hampshire
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2017 (Extended to September 30, 2020)
Project Amount: $992,759
RFA: Performance and Effectiveness of Green Infrastructure Stormwater Management Approaches in the Urban Context: A Philadelphia Case Study (2012) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Watersheds , Water


The project Green Infrastructure for Sustainable Philadelphia Communities proposes to build municipal capacity in a subset of the greater Philadelphia urban watershed for Green Infrastructure (GI) by engaging local and watershed‐wide stakeholders in a planning and implementation process that is supported by science‐based resources and up‐to‐date relevant technical information. The goal of creating GI implementation capacity is to more effectively manage social, economic, and environmental aspects of water resources and improve capacity for managing related societal and ecosystem services. In addition, the private sector will be engaged in order to foster their inclusion of full‐scale GI for redevelopment, development, and vacant lands. The project objective is to demonstrate not simply physical stormwater management technologies, but rather to create a transformative setting within which the City and its citizens place stormwater management as the one of the highest land use priorities: essentially making stormwater management part of the City’s land use DNA. As such, any land use decisions must first demonstrate real reductions to stormwater runoff that will also improve water quality and provide a more hospitable community environment.


The project will provide a wide range of resources and numerous models and examples of technical, regulatory, and economic approaches for the implementation of GI in a very urbanized setting. Drawing upon knowledge gained from previously funded programs, we will work with local community leaders, City officials, watershed groups, scientific experts, representatives of the development community, local businesses, and public schools to implement priorities identified by the local demonstration communities that are within the overall project goals. This project seeks to expand GI applications in this region by: 1) forming and working with neighborhood‐based project Advisory Committees that will guide the implementation of the individual project goals with the project PIs and technical experts; 2) increasing municipal capacity to implement green infrastructure through a process of identification of existing social/economic/knowledge/technical barriers and prioritization of strategies; 3) developing partnerships within and between local governments and other stakeholders in the watershed; 4) targeting outreach and dissemination of technical and informational resources; and tracking the economic benefits associated with GI.

Expected Results:

Expected outcomes and results include local community‐based land use committees, city‐wide land use policy modifications, GI Toolbox, and demonstration sites.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 19 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 1 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

watersheds, stormwater, groundwater, land use, precipitation, public policy, community-based, cost-benefit, non-market valuation, preferences, public good, socioeconomic, environmental assets, hydrology, engineering, social science, monitoring, measurement methods, Mid-Atlantic;

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2014 Progress Report
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • 2016 Progress Report
  • 2017 Progress Report
  • 2018 Progress Report
  • 2019 Progress Report
  • Final