Latest ALIDP News
Dr. Hans Schreier on Climate Variability & Innovative Urban Stormwater Management Solutions
Alberta Environment and Parks as part of the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program hosted Dr. Hans Schreier, Professor of Emeritus, UBC in Calgary on March 17, 2016. Dr. Schreier's presentation was recorded by ALIDP for your viewing - version 1 quicktime (.mov) or version 2 iMovie (.mv4). Note: the links provide a 15-minute preview of the presentation. To see the entire presentation it is necessary to download the presentation.
Flood Loss Avoidance Benefits of Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Managment
The modeling study, prepared for the US EPA, estimates the flood loss avoidance benefits from application of small storm retention practices for new development and redevelopment nationwide. Twenty HUC8 watersheds were modeled in areas where significant growth is expected between 2020 and 2040, using the FEMA Hazus model and national-scale datasets. The area of the watersheds ranges between 500 and 3,000 square miles. The study was conducted in consultation with other federal agencies including the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The approach was vetted by a panel of experts from government, academia, and industry. The results show that, over time, the use of green stormwater infrastructure can save hundreds of millions of dollars in flood losses, while just applying the practices to new development and redevelopment only. If retrofitting were to occur, the avoided losses would be even more significant.
A connection between lack of green space and crime
Los Angeles has been historically park-poor, according to Billi Gordon. 41% of low income households do not have immediate access to parks in Los Angeles compared to 2% in New York City. Los Angeles ranks 51st in a US park scoring system. Densification has reduced Los Angeles's tree canopy to 21% versus the US national average of 27%. In a Los Angeles Times op. ed., Billi Gordon explores the impact a lack of green space has on health, crime and even domestic violence due to higher stress levels. A dense city without adequate green spaces is just too complex for the human brain.
Water Canada: Planning for Uncertainties in Stormwater Management
The article highlights the role low impact development techniques have in building resilience and reducing risk when it comes to extreme weather events including floods and drought. Early adopters of low impact development practices are seeing positive results from decentralized methods of "managing water where it falls". Municipalities including Calgary have adopted stormwater or drainage fees as a mechanism to fund stormwater infrastructure and resiliency initiatives. However barriers to LID implementation still exist when moving away from the status quo.
Helen Schuler Nature Centre, Lethbridge, wins North American Award for its Green Roof Design
The Helen Schuler Nature Centre is this year's recipient of the Green Roof and Wall Award of Excellence by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. Recognized for balancing aesthetic, economic, functional and ecological values the Centre's roof top gardens will serve as an interpretive demonstration area in a living classroom environment. "02 Design + Planning", an "ALIDP Partner", worked with the Centre to choose a pallet of 67 native species and 27 sedum varieties to create a biological diverse landscape; a departure from traditional, water-consumptive, landscape approaches. The extensive plant list will also serve as a testing ground for the suitability of plants under harsh, windy and arid environments. The Award will be presented in New York on October 7, 2015. To read more about the project and its design click here.
Globally Significant Bird Sanctuary & Wildlife Habitat Prompts Use of LID Techniques at Big Lake, Ed
Sierra Club Edmonton and other volunteers have worked with Walton Development to mitigate stormwater effects from housing developments being built adjacent to Lois Hole Centennial Park surrounding Big Lake.
Low impact development techniques have been employed. In Hawks Ridge, the land has been graded to ensure run-off will not enter Big Lake before it’s treated in a sequence of naturalized stormwater ponds. New residents are being given rain barrels, face limits on the amount of hard surface, such as concrete, they can have in their yard, and have to agree not to use pesticides or chemical de-icers on the pavement during the winter.
For more information click here.
Detroit looks to green infrastructure to prevent sewage overflow
Detroit's aging water system is having a hard time keeping up with torrential rains, which lead to sewage overflows. The city is looking to green infrastructure to help reduce runoff. Bioswales are being tested currently. Click here for more information.
Comparison of cost-effectiveness of private vs public implementation of green infrastructure
Maryland's Prince George's County must reduce the amount of stormwater that drains into the Chesapeake Bay and to reach that goal will add 15,000 acres of green infrastructure including permeable pavement, rain gardens and cisterns. The county is working with Corvias Solutions in a public-private partnership, where Corvias will design, build and maintain 2,000 acres of improvements by 2017. A county team will also work on 2,000 acres so officials can compare results.
Read more here.