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ULI Explores Stormwater Management with Green Infrastructure

June 22, 2017

Report examines improved resilience in buildings by facilitating water runoff.

Collaboration between building operators, real estate professionals and local governments to find proactive stormwater management solutions has yielded results nationwide, according to a new publication from the Urban Land Institute (ULI). The report, Harvesting the Value of Water: Stormwater, Green Infrastructure, and Real Estate, identifies how green infrastructure facilitates water management, boosting operational efficiency for buildings and improving their value.

Green infrastructure examined in the report includes pipes-and-pumps alternatives like rain gardens, bioswales and green roofs, as well as water storage and recycling tools like cisterns.

“The development community is addressing the challenge of stormwater management with creative solutions that are not only conserving water, but also adding value and appeal to real estate projects across the nation,” says Katharine Burgess, ULI’s Urban Resilience Program Director.

Managing stormwater with green infrastructure isn't new, but the report identifies how more local governments are organizing networks with it that include private and public properties.

“Whether by increasing potential development yield, introducing tangible amenities for residents, reducing operating costs or building on a broader placemaking strategy, innovative stormwater management strategies can create value and contribute to the quality of life and resilience in cities,” the report says.

The report also highlights several themes that are key to stormwater management in cities, including:

■    Cities can improve environmental and financial impact with green infrastructure, compared to costly and conventional, gray infrastructure projects that lack community impact.
■    More land is available when green infrastructure replaces traditional water management solutions.
■    Green infrastructure reduces operating costs and improves building value.
■    Policies and strategies regarding green infrastructure are working in a variety of areas and contexts.
■    The payoff of improved aesthetics and amenities makes the initial learning curve worth it.
■    Green infrastructure pays off during peak weather events.

Learn more about stormwater management with green infrastructure at americas.uli.org.

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