Why Does Green Infrastructure Matter?
The driving force behind GI development in CSO sewersheds is stormwater runoff control. In addition to mitigating CSOs, GI can also help to mitigate other urban environmental issues such as surface and basement sewage flooding and urban heat island effect. GI can also offset air quality pollution, wildlife habitat loss and degradation, and effects from climate change.
Before GI was viewed as a solution towards CSO control, it was viewed as an opportunity to beautify the city. For example, ‘Green streets’ in New York City were originally used for aesthetic improvements before the city began focusing on stormwater concerns. GI can be viewed as an opportunity to provide green space for recreation, attract businesses and visitors to the area, and improve traffic dynamics, particularly in the case of traffic islands and stormwater curb bump outs.
GI provides economic benefits such as improved property value, reduced need for traditional gray infrastructure, reduced risk and costs from environmental damage due to surface and basement sewage flooding, and the creation of green jobs.