Green Infrastructure for Engaging Communities

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What is low impact development (LID) and how can it be used to make our communities more engaging? Elizabeth Balderston is a consultant at Urban Systems and has been dedicated to making environmental sustainability and community enhancement top priorities throughout her career. Elizabeth will outline the benefits of LID from social, ecological and financial points-of-view. Her career as a landscape architect and urban designer have made her an expert in the aesthetic and functional integration of built works with green infrastructure. Focusing on a humanistic perspective, she illustrates how LID can make communities more vibrant, livable and safe for their residents.

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  • 1.Creating Vibrant Communities Green Infrastructure for Engaging Communities Elizabeth Balderston August 13, 2013

2. Spirit in Service for Vibrant Communities 3. Elizabeth Balderston Green Infrastructure for Engaging Communities 4. Low Impact Development Creating Vibrant Communities Liliana Bozic Elizabeth Balderston August 2013 5. LID Low Impact Development SUDS Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems WSUD Water Sensitive Urban Design BMP Best Management Practices SCP Source Control Practices 6. LID is an approach to land development that works with nature to manage stormwater as close to its source as possible Key principles: Preservation of natural soil infiltrating potential; Small scale integrated controls dispersed throughout the site; Minimizing and disconnecting impervious areas; Prolonging stormwater runoff flow paths and times Creating multi-functional landscapes. 7. Todays challenges: Urban growth impacts watershed health Limited effectiveness of conventional drainage practices Regulatory requirements Climate change 8. Land development alters the natural balance between runoff and natural absorption greater amounts of impervious surface increased rates and volumes of surface runoff increased susceptibility of eroded land to flooding, damage to public and private property in-stream and wetland habitat degradation 9. Limited pollutant removal Effective for large sediment particles only Limited nutrient removal No runoff volume reduction Concerns with winter operation High maintenance cost 10. New regulation requires better stormwater quality treatment Stormwater rate and volume control targets are established through watershed management planning process 11. 12 Watershed Drinking Water Wastewater People Bow & Elbow River Land Use Source protection Watershed Yield (Glaciers) Water resources Water rights Water Quality Pollutants Collection infrastructure Total loadings Assimilative capacity Supply and demand Service levels Treatment Infrastructure Drinking water quality Distribution infrastructure Imperviousness hydrology Storm water infrastructure Storm Water Urban runoff 12. Bioswales / Vegetated Swales Shallow and deep infiltration Low susceptibility to cold climate Treatment Porous pavement Shallow and deep infiltration Low to high susceptibility to cold climate Treatment Green Roofs Shallow infiltration Low susceptibility to cold climate Volume reduction Rainwater reuse Volume reduction 13. Plan at Site, Neighborhood, and Watershed Level 14. A variety of easy and practical, cost-saving techniques to manage stormwater runoff close to its source (where rain falls) while preserving and protecting natural landscape features Principles of Low Impact Development 15. 16. Source: www.rainwaterpillow.com 17. Courtesy Cultec 18. Stormwater oriented low impact development strategies contribute to Vibrant Communities on multiple fronts: financial infrastructure construction, repairs, maintenance, operation natural and environmental disasters environmental services property values and development costs community resources community health delight / aesthetics education community interaction 19. Low Impact Development is a creative design strategy that informs development opportunities on how to better connect with the surrounding energetic, ecological and social patterns to promote integrative sustainability. Key principles: Designing with the environment and the land Give priority to social dimensions and environmental protection Do we need it? Can we maintain it? Is there a solution requiring fewer interventions? Is it local, integrated and decentralized? 20. Next lecture: Tuesday September 17 Mark Anielski Creating Flourishing Communities of Wellbeing and Happiness www.urbansystems.ca