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Stormwater Governance and Future Cities

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, USA
Water 2013, 5(1), 29-52;
Received: 14 November 2012 / Revised: 4 January 2013 / Accepted: 6 January 2013 / Published: 14 January 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Water Management)
Urban stormwater infrastructure traditionally promoted conveyance. Cities are increasingly designing stormwater infrastructure that integrates both conveyance and infiltration in hybrid systems to achieve public health, safety, environmental, and social goals. In addition, cities face decisions about distribution of responsibilities for stormwater management and maintenance between institutions and landowners. Hybrid governance structures combine centralized and distributed management to facilitate planning, operations, funding, and maintenance. Effective governance in any management approach will require changes in the expertise of stormwater agencies. Recognizing the distinction between hybrid infrastructure and hybrid governance is important in long-term planning decisions for construction and management of stormwater systems. A framework is presented that relates the level and type of existing stormwater infrastructure with available capital, institutional development, and predominant citizen contributions. Cities with extensive existing infrastructure are increasingly integrating distributed, “green” approaches that promote infiltration, and must improve institutional expertise for governance decisions. For cities with little existing infrastructure, landowner management often dominates, especially when municipalities cannot keep pace with rapid growth. In between, rapidly industrializing cities are positioned to use growing capital resources to fund both conveyance and infiltration measures based on current design principles. For all cities, local management innovations, including decisions regarding public engagement, will be critical in shaping future urban stormwater systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban; stormwater; governance; distributed; sustainability; institutions urban; stormwater; governance; distributed; sustainability; institutions
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Porse, E.C. Stormwater Governance and Future Cities. Water 2013, 5, 29-52.

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