Forging The Link Topics
Chapter 1: Guiding Principles
The guiding principle of the Forging the Link project is to illustrate the advantages of Low Impact Development (LID) in the economic terms of how municipal land use decisions are commonly made.
Chapter 2: Benefits of Low Impact Development
Low Impact Development (LID) is an innovative approach to stormwater management that is based upon the principle of managing rainfall at the source. The goal of LID is to mimic the predevelopment hydrology of a site using a combination of site planning and structural design strategies to control runoff rate and volumes. LID can be applied to new development, urban retrofitting, and redevelopment, and helps communities achieve a balance between public safety, economic development and ecological protection.
Chapter 3: Economics and Low Impact Development
While better known for its capacity to reduce pollution and manage stormwater more sustainably, LID designs are also economically beneficial and more cost effective as compared to conventional stormwater controls. LID is commonly misperceived as only adding expense to a project; however, this perspective fails to acknowledge the broader benefits that can be observed in terms of whole project costs for new construction, and in some instances, increased life-cycle benefits as well. By combining both gray (traditional) and a green (LID) approaches, the added expense of LID are offset by the reductions in other traditional practices such as curb and gutter or detention ponds.
Chapter 4: Historic and Projected Climate Change
The state of the earth’s climate has been a topic of extreme debate. However, there is near consensus that climate change is expected to continue through the 21st century, and that for many regions of North America, projections are for an increase in the depth, frequency and duration of precipitation events. Concurrently, there are projections indicating sea level rise. Historically, many communities have made anecdotal observations regarding the timing of spring thaw or first frost and recent data has confirmed those observations to be accurate.
Average Precipitation Changes for the US (NOAA Climatic Data Center)
Chapter 5: Low Impact Development as a Climate Change Adaptation Tool
Low Impact Development planning and structural controls have the ability to manage increased stormwater flows from a changing climate. The same strategies that are applied to managing increased runoff volume from impervious surfaces can be used to manage increased storm size from climate change. The use of Green Infrastructure for adding distributed storage and infiltration throughout a project can also have a cumulative positive effect in a watershed and be used as a climate change adaptation tool for building resiliency to extreme precipitation events.
Chapter 6: Overcoming the Barriers to the Implementation of LID
During the 2000 census, many coastal communities experienced as much as 25 percent population growth and are expected to increase by another 5 percent by 2015. This tremendous growth pressure is forcing municipalities and other watershed stakeholders to develop strategies for managing growth while maintaining watershed health. In addition shrinking local budgets, due to challenging economic climates, reduces the ability of many municipalities to respond to their local demands. Overcoming these challenges require significant effort in outreach, communication and resource development.
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