Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Low Impact Development

Low Impact Development (LID) is a type of smart growth that simultaneously conserves green space and manages stormwater effectively. Unlike traditional land use designs, LID promotes natural stormwater management techniques that minimize runoff and help prevent pollutants from getting into the runoff. In some cases, these practices decrease the size of traditional retention and detention basins and can be less costly than conventional stormwater control mechanisms.

Developing a Better Way - Using Low Impact Development Practices

Low Impact Development
Rather than bulldoze and grade, developments that incorporate existing natural features are proven to have multiple benefits, from aesthetic and environmental on down to the bottom line.

This is a recording of Session B-7 from the Smart Growth - Smart Energy Conference 2008 held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on 12/12/08. From the session description: From the increasing usage and research on Low Impact Development (LID) techniques, we are developing a better understanding of how to select the most appropriate BMPs for stormwater management projects. Appropriate application of LID can be particularly challenging in redevelopment areas affecting impaired waters. Speakers will discuss: 1) the performance of LID techniques from comprehensive literature reviews incorporated into a web-based tool; 2) on-site testing at the UNH Stormwater Center focusing on seasonal variation and cold weather performance; and 3) implementation choices and challenges in the Ipswich watershed. Moderator: * Eric Hove, Acting Director of Land Use Policy, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Speakers: * Robert Roseen P.E., PhD, Director, University of New Hampshire's Stormwater Center * Sara Cohen, Water Resource Specialist, Department of Conservation and Recreation * Jerry Schoen, Director of the Massachusetts Stormwater Technology Evaluation Project, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Botanic Garden produced this 9-minute on-line video, “Reduce Runoff: Slow It Down, Spread It Out, Soak It In,” that highlights green techniques such as rain gardens, green roofs and rain barrels to help manage stormwater runoff.

The film showcases green techniques that are being used in urban areas to reduce the effects of stormwater runoff on the quality of downstream receiving waters. The goal is to mimic the natural way water moves through an area before development by using design techniques that infiltrate, evaporate, and reuse runoff close to its source.

The techniques are innovative stormwater management practices that manage urban stormwater runoff at its source, and are very effective at reducing the volume of stormwater runoff and capturing harmful pollutants. Using vegetated areas that capture runoff also improves air quality, mitigates the effects of urban heat islands and reduces a community’s overall carbon footprint.

The video highlights green techniques on display in 2008 at the U.S. Botanic Garden’s “One Planet – Ours!” Exhibit" and at the U.S. EPA in Washington, D.C., including recently completed cisterns.

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