As 2011 winds down, top ten lists begin to crop up, putting the year in review and celebrating recent accomplishments. IISG has put together our own list of successes that have come to fruition in recent years. Here is just one example:

Illinois EPA provided funding to IISG to study the costs and effectiveness of green infrastructure as a way to replace or supplement existing stormwater management. The study showed that on average, green infrastructure practices are equally effective in managing stormwater, while costing less to establish and maintain. Martin Jaffe, environmental planning specialist, presented these findings to the Illinois General Assembly.

As a result, the Illinois General Assembly established a $5 million discretionary fund to support green infrastructure projects in communities throughout the state. In addition, because of this study, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning 2040 Regional Comprehensive Plan, adopted in the fall of 2010, recommended incorporating green infrastructure practices in future development.

Managing urban stormwater is a significant matter facing communities throughout the U.S. – including northeastern Illinois and surrounding areas. Increasing storm intensity and aging infrastructure are combined threats to existing stormwater management, but green infrastructure may provide a useful and effective approach to these issues.

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