New Guide Helps Municipalities Monetize the Value of Green Infrastructure
A new report released today by CNT and American Rivers quantifies the economic value of green infrastructure’s benefits – the key to helping municipalities adopt this innovative and cost-effective stormwater management approach. “The Value of Green Infrastructure: A Guide to Recognizing Its Economic, Social and Environmental Benefits” is a broad analysis that is the first to place an economic value on the numerous benefits provided by green infrastructure.
The guide fills an information gap that has hampered widespread deployment of green infrastructure—the practice of managing stormwater with natural systems. “The Value of Green Infrastructure” brings together current research on green infrastructure performance and presents methods for calculating related benefits in water management, energy, air quality, climate, and community livability.
“When you can assign economic value to the wide array of green infrastructure benefits, planners, builders, and city officials can accurately evaluate the advantages of these approaches for managing stormwater in their communities,” said Danielle Gallet, infrastructure strategist at CNT and one of the principal authors of the guide. “Establishing a framework for calculating the benefits of green infrastructure is a first, key step to making it a mainstream practice.”
Aurora, Illinois is an example of a municipality that understands the many benefits conferred by green infrastructure. In 2009, the city installed permeable pavers, bioswales and infiltration trenches at its new police headquarters, managing the runoff from the property and from adjacent uphill land. The features minimize the discharge of water and pollutants to nearby Indian Creek and eliminate the persistent basement flooding in nearby homes. The guide’s aim is to make Aurora’s efforts standard practice across the nation.