Science Inventory

Situating Green Infrastructure in Context: Adaptive Socio-Hydrology for Sustainable Cities - poster

Citation:

Schifman, L., D. Herrmann, A. Ossola, W. Shuster, A. Garmestani, AND M. Hopton. Situating Green Infrastructure in Context: Adaptive Socio-Hydrology for Sustainable Cities - poster. Presented at Resilience Alliance, Stockholm, SWEDEN, August 20 - 23, 2017.

Impact/Purpose:

The benefits of green infrastructure (GI) in controlling urban hydrologic processes have largely focused on practical matters like stormwater management, which drives the planning stage. Green Infrastructure design and implementation usually takes into account physical site characteristics and local rainfall patterns, but this does not necessarily situate the project to most effectively provide multiple or additional ecosystem services. This traditional approach leads to a highly centralized yet disconnected urban landscape, and can deemphasize the additional benefits that GI offers, such as heat island amelioration, carbon sequestration, pollinator habitat, housing value improvements, and green space aesthetics. Such ancillary benefits are important because they are provided beyond the intended service of stormwater management.

Description:

The benefits of green infrastructure (GI) in controlling urban hydrologic processes have largely focused on practical matters like stormwater management, which drives the planning stage. Green Infrastructure design and implementation usually takes into account physical site characteristics and local rainfall patterns, but this does not necessarily situate the project to most effectively provide multiple or additional ecosystem services. This traditional approach leads to a highly centralized yet disconnected urban landscape, and can deemphasize the additional benefits that GI offers, such as heat island amelioration, carbon sequestration, pollinator habitat, housing value improvements, and green space aesthetics. Such ancillary benefits are important because they are provided beyond the intended service of stormwater management. We propose a framework in which GI planning and implementation moves from a purely hydrology-driven model to an integrated socio-hydrological approach, in which multi-stakeholder networks guide the decision-making process to determine how and where GI is situated contextually, rather than a “one-size-fits-all” installation. We explain how different sectors (e.g. environmental management, public health, and community organizations, stormwater management.) can create a connected network of organizations that work towards a common goal, in this case serving multiple objectives through GI. We use a graphical model to compare decision making processes, and show how they are influenced by network nodes as a GI project is guided through planning stages to completion. We show that this multi-stakeholder, connected, de-centralized network approach results in enhanced multi-functionality potentially increasing the resilience of urban systems at multiple levels and scales. To illustrate this framework, we utilize case studies of U.S.-based GI projects that have moved from a hydrology-exclusive approach to a socio-hydrologic enhancement of ecosystem services. With this contribution we hope to encourage a more interdisciplinary approach to GI planning and implementation that integrates human and environmental system management in urban areas, increasing sustainability and resilience.

URLs/Downloads:

RESILIENCE2017_POSTER_26JUN2017.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 1341.423 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/POSTER)
Product Published Date: 08/22/2017
Record Last Revised: 05/10/2018
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 340681

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

WATER SYSTEMS DIVISION

WATER RESOURCES RECOVERY BRANCH