Economic Development + Stormwater – What's New?
This is a good example of:Leveraging stormwater management investments for economic returns in urban areas
Urban stormwater control is all too often seen as a cost. How can cities and property owners flip this calculus to reap economic returns? This booklet, a product of a 2014 American Planning Association national conference session, compiles the latest information from several sources.
This booklet is a product of a 2014 American Planning Association national conference session titled “Shared Stormwater Systems as Economic Incentives.” The session, presented April 29, 2014 in Atlanta GA, outlines strategies for using shared stormwater systems to enhance the environment while attracting and retaining businesses.
Danielle Gallet of Center for Neighborhood Technology and Lisa Nisenson of the tech start-up GreaterPlaces wanted to go beyond the typical conference session and create a presentation that (1) gathered examples from green infrastructure practitioners, (2) provided the audience with the latest on “this is how you get green infrastructure done,” (3) leveraged the knowledge of the assembled audience, and (4) delivered a product community advocates and professionals can use long after the conference is over.
The session flowed as follows:
- Green infrastructure requires understanding cost avoided and returns on a longer time horizon (e.g. over 25 years rather than an annual or five year capital budget cycle);
- Green infrastructure delivers a multitude of benefits, which requires looking across several budget categories;
- Green infrastructure is not intended to fully replace gray infrastructure, however, green infrastructure typically reduces capital costs of a gray-only system.
For Lancaster, the avoided capital costs over 25 years came to $120,000,000, with additional benefits of close to $5 million.
- Stormwater practices are rarely the driver in whether a project is economically viable or not
- Redevelopment is typically less predictable and more expensive than a project developed on raw, undeveloped land.
- Developers prefer best management practices that have multiple benefits and value (i.e. landscaping).
- Strict regulations are acceptable as long as they are clear and predictable
- Regulatory programs that allow a mix of on-site and off-site practices are a good idea.
- Trading & Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs)
- Innovative funds
- Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) – new roles for managing green infrastructure
- Public art
- EcoDistricts, corridor and small area planning
- Green streets & rails
- Graphic design and explanatory materials