Green Infrastructure and low impact development employ natural systems and processes, such as encouraging stormwater to infiltrate into soils or be uptaken by plants, to better manage urban stormwater. It can be used as a substitute for or as a supplement to conventional "grey" infrastructure employed in separate stormwater sewer collection and storage systems.
Green infrastructure is generally as effective as conventional stormwater detention at removing many pollutants, but often costs substantially less to install and maintain over its lifespan. It may be a more cost-effective approach to managing stormwater in new development in many communities.
Many landowners and municipal officials are unfamiliar with the maintenance requirements of green infrastructure practices. Cost-effectiveness might also be less favorable depending on site characteristics (such as a parcel having clay soils or shallow depth to bedrock) that might impair infiltration. The effectiveness of bio-infiltration can also vary by season (especially in the winter).
Example 1: Michigan
Description: Low Impact Development
Example 2: EPA
Description: A webpage explaining the concepts of Green Infrastructure/LID and a plethora of links to resources including reports, manuals, and multi-media.
Example 3: Chicago, Illinois
Description: City’s website on their “Greenest Street in America” project. Includes video and guidebook developed for the program.
Example 4: Ohio/Michigan
Description: TMACOG’s website promoting Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management.