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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania A Case Study of How Green Infrastructure is Helping Manage Urban Stormwater Challenges



Types of green infrastructure used: Green roofs, rain barrels/cisterns, permeable pavement, rain gardens, infiltration trenches or vaults, vegetated swales, street trees, downspout disconnection, open space preservation Pittsburgh has attempted to incorporate green infrastructure projects and practices into its stormwater management program and its efforts to reduce CSOs in the region. However, its most tangible accomplishment toward full-scale green infrastructure implementation is the passage of a stormwater ordinance that establishes stormwater volume reduction standards, including a requirement that developments larger than 10,000 square feet retain the first inch of rainfall on-site. Pittsburgh lacks a long-term green infrastructure plan, although it has enacted a number of programs aimed at creating permanent green spaces or at greening vacant or abandoned lots throughout the city. It has also made an effort to encourage community participation in green infrastructure projects, particularly through use of Community Development Block Grants and support for individual greening projects. Yet the city has only a limited array of incentive programs or guidance available to the public or developers for incorporating green infrastructure, and does not have a dedicated funding source for green infrastructure. Pittsburgh’s work to promote green building practices and remove hurdles to green infrastructure (for instance, by changing city codes to allow for downspout disconnections) have fared well. But the city could benefit from a more integrated approach to incorporate green infrastructure in its long-term planning

Year: 2013
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