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Open AccessFeature PaperReview

It Is Not Easy Being Green: Recognizing Unintended Consequences of Green Stormwater Infrastructure

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
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St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA
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Department of Civil Engineering, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN 46383, USA
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Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
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Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
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Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020522
Received: 31 December 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2020 / Accepted: 8 February 2020 / Published: 13 February 2020
Green infrastructure designed to address urban drainage and water quality issues is often deployed without full knowledge of potential unintended social, ecological, and human health consequences. Though understood in their respective fields of study, these diverse impacts are seldom discussed together in a format understood by a broader audience. This paper takes a first step in addressing that gap by exploring tradeoffs associated with green infrastructure practices that manage urban stormwater including urban trees, stormwater ponds, filtration, infiltration, rain gardens, and green roofs. Each green infrastructure practice type performs best under specific conditions and when targeting specific goals, but regular inspections, maintenance, and monitoring are necessary for any green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) practice to succeed. We review how each of the above practices is intended to function and how they could malfunction in order to improve how green stormwater infrastructure is designed, constructed, monitored, and maintained. Our proposed decision-making framework, using both biophysical (biological and physical) science and social science, could lead to GSI projects that are effective, cost efficient, and just. View Full-Text
Keywords: stormwater; green infrastructure; sustainable development; ecosystem services; green gentrification; environmental justice; ponds; urban trees; bioretention stormwater; green infrastructure; sustainable development; ecosystem services; green gentrification; environmental justice; ponds; urban trees; bioretention
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Taguchi, V.J.; Weiss, P.T.; Gulliver, J.S.; Klein, M.R.; Hozalski, R.M.; Baker, L.A.; Finlay, J.C.; Keeler, B.L.; Nieber, J.L. It Is Not Easy Being Green: Recognizing Unintended Consequences of Green Stormwater Infrastructure. Water 2020, 12, 522.

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