Science Inventory

Not so vacant? Evaluating vacant lots as passive green infrastructure for the rendering of hydrologic ecosystem services

Citation:

Shuster, W., D. Herrmann, J. Grosshans, AND B. Furio. Not so vacant? Evaluating vacant lots as passive green infrastructure for the rendering of hydrologic ecosystem services. International Association of Landscape Ecologists, Chicago, IL, April 08 - 12, 2018.

Impact/Purpose:

Social and economic drivers have resulted in population loss and altered demographics in many Great Lakes basin cities. This change has created a landscape mosaic that includes extensive coverage in blighted parcels, which – through proper demolition and site finishing – may satisfy a growing demand for local ecosystem services rendered via passive green infrastructure (e.g., vacant lots).

Description:

Social and economic drivers have resulted in population loss and altered demographics in many Great Lakes basin cities. This change has created a landscape mosaic that includes extensive coverage in blighted parcels, which – through proper demolition and site finishing – may satisfy a growing demand for local ecosystem services rendered via passive green infrastructure (e.g., vacant lots). In general, green infrastructure represents a suite of scalable practices to manage water quantity, but specifically urbanized landscapes with a high proportion of pervious surfaces may passively render ecosystem services. Yet, the hydrologic processes and capacities of these landscapes are tied to poorly-characterized urban soil conditions. Drawing on a unique urban soil taxonomic and hydrologic dataset collected in 12 cities (each city representing a major soil order), we determined how urbanization processes (compared to paired reference soil series) alter the hydrology of urban landscapes. Using field datasets from Cleveland OH, Detroit MI, Buffalo NY, we parameterize an unsaturated zone model (HYDRUS2D) to quantify and illustrate how variability in urban soil taxonomy and hydrology contribute to the rendering of supporting (plant-available soil water) and regulating (runoff mitigation) ecosystem services. These results contribute to our understanding high vacancy urban landscapes play in rendering ecosystem services in urban centers while contributing to compliance with the U.S. Clean Water Act.

URLs/Downloads:

IALE_NOTSOVACANT_FINALFORCLEARANCE.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 3259.417 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Product Published Date: 04/09/2018
Record Last Revised: 09/13/2018
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 342285

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

WATER SYSTEMS DIVISION

WATER RESOURCES RECOVERY BRANCH