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May & June 2014
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Stormwater Management in Urban Revitalization

The TMACOG Environmental Planning department has been awarded a grant to plan for green infrastructure in urban parts of our region. The grant, awarded by the Ohio Lake Erie Commission, funds a project that will assist the Lucas County Land Reutilization Corporation (the Land Bank). The Land Bank works to return foreclosed and vacant properties to productive use in the community. TMACOG will use GIS analysis to identify and prioritize those properties where green stormwater infrastructure best management practices would be most effective.

In tightly built urban areas, adding new stormwater management infrastructure can be a challenge. But where structures are being demolished in an older neighborhood, there is potential to introduce modern stormwater management while also increasing green space and recreational areas for residents. TMACOG will develop a GIS inventory of suitable vacant land sites for green infrastructure and build a decision model for prioritizing vacant land reuse. Site selection involves ranking vacant sites based on an analysis of soil, floodplain, flooding frequency, existing infrastructure, land use, lot size, previous lot use, and water quality impairment data. Other data points that rank possible projects include the availability of neighborhood groups to maintain best management practices, and infrastructure that may be already planned for the area. TMACOG will be working with the Green Infrastructure Task Force, a committee of the Lucas County Sustainability Commission. Examples of small-scale green infrastructure include rain gardens and bioswales.

“The grant integrates well with work already underway in the Land Bank and with the Sustainability Commission,” said TMACOG planner Kari Gerwin. “By identifying green infrastructure sites before demolition, the project team will ensure that the site is graded properly at the earliest stage, saving money and increasing the likelihood of a successful installation.” Opportunities will be on both public and private land. As part of the grant, TMACOG and its partners will create a demonstration site that will be a proof of concept example. Gerwin said, “When neighbors, funding agencies, and builders can see the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of small-scale green infrastructure, they can appreciate how vacant land can be re-purposed to reduce flooding, manage stormwater, and provide attractive space for residents.”

The project begins May 2014 and will be complete in the spring of 2015.

 

 


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