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NJ Future Forum 2012 Flooding Levine


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The dramatic increase in the number of recent flooding incidents in New Jersey raises important questions about where development should occur and how to plan and prepare for these events. As floodplain maps change, so do regulatory and design considerations, not to mention the added insurance risks to redeveloping in these locations. This session will look at current weather trends and how they will affect redeveloping communities, as well as explore innovative approaches to stormwater management, with a spotlight on Philadelphia’s Green Infrastructure Plan.

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NJ Future Forum 2012 Flooding Levine

  1. 1. Smart, Green Solutions to a Major Water Pollution ChallengeControlling Flooding, Stopping Runoff Pollution and Sewer Overflows Larry Levine, NRDC
  2. 2. Urban Stormwater Runoff: Pollutantsbacteria trash nutrients heavy metals pesticides suspended solids 2
  3. 3. Combined Sewer Overflows Newtown Creek, Brooklyn Image: RiverkeeperImage: Seattle Public Utilities
  4. 4. Urban Stormwater Runoff: Flooding effects (NOAA, National Weather Service)
  5. 5. Urban Stormwater Runoff: impairmentBallona Creek, Los Angeles (California Coastal Commission) Los Angeles River (City of Los Angeles)
  6. 6. Green Infrastructure as a solution: What is Green Infrastructure? Portland streetscape Navy Yard Bioretention Photo courtesy of Martina Keefe Photo courtesy of LID Center
  7. 7. Portland’s stormwater street planters. Photo courtesy ofthe Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. NRDC, Stormwater Strategies Chicago City Hall Green Roof. Photo courtesy ofPermeable Pavement, City of Portland, BES Roofscapes, Inc.
  8. 8. Green Infrastructure as a solution: Other non-water benefits• Reduced energy use• Increased property values• Improved air quality• Lower air temperature• Reduced urban heat island effect• Conservation of water
  9. 9. Philadelphia’s Green City Clean Water Initiative (Before)
  10. 10. Philadelphia’s Green City Clean Water Initiative (After)
  11. 11. The Philadelphia Story: Green City Clean Waters• Over the next 25 years, Philly is committed to deploying the most comprehensive network of green infrastructure found in any U.S. city.• Plan is unique among US cities because it: o Requires that thousands of acres be retrofitted with green infrastructure, citywide. At least one-third of impervious area served by combined sewer system transformed into “greened acres” -- nearly 10,000 acres. CONTINUED....
  12. 12. The Philadelphia Story: Green City Clean Waters...CONTINUED o Invests more in green infrastructure than in traditional (“gray”) infrastructure. At least $1.67 billion -- potentially up to $2 billion – for greened acres. o Relies on green infrastructure for a majority of the required reductions in sewage overflows. o Leverages investments from the private sector to help satisfy pollution reduction requirements. Substantial portion of greened acres will come from redevelopment projects, which must meet local stormwater performance standards. Plan dovetails with various programs that incentivize private property owners to retrofit existing development – including stormwater fees and credits.
  13. 13. Overview: Rooftops to Rivers II• Demonstrates how cities use green infrastructure to improve stormwater management and achieve multiple benefits.• The report includes: – Economic benefits of green infrastructure – Case studies on 14 cities – Encouragement for EPA to learn from the work of these cities and advance these solutions nationwide
  14. 14. NRDC’s Emerald City Metric
  15. 15. Questions? – search: “green infrastructure”Me: