Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure, also known as Low Impact Development (LID), is a method of managing stormwater in a manner that is similar to the natural, pre-development hydrology.  As the Capitol Region has grown, more and more hardscape surfaces such as buildings, streets and parking lots, impenetrable by rainwater, have been introduced.  As a result, a large network of pipes and stormwater conveyance systems, retention ponds, and other costly mechanisms became necessary to handle the large amount of rainfall that could no longer absorb directly into the ground.  Green Infrastructure on the other hand, provides the ability to enhance and expand the built environment while also allowing natural stormwater management to occur.  There are a wide range of tools to implement Green Infrastructure in your community.  From design guidelines to sample zoning regulations, an array of resources is available through the Clearinghouse.

Reports / Plans

 

  • From Grey to Green

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    This guide illustrates how an abandoned strip mall, the Manchester Parkade, may be transformed by following the principles of smart growth and green infrastructure. The plan creates an interconnected network of green spaces to manage stormwater and improve water quality. Included in the site plan are green buildings, green streets, green plazas, and constructed wetlands. General information on costs and maintenance is provided.

    Download the full printable version (.pdf) to read more.

  • Banking on Green

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    This report, jointly issued by American Rivers, the Water Environment Federation, the American Society for Landscape Architects and ECONorthwest in April of 2012, details the cost-effectiveness of green infrastructure and how municipalities can cut energy expenditures, reduce flooding damage and related costs and enjoy public and environmental health protections via these stormwater management strategies.

    Download the full printable version (.pdf) to read more.

     

     

Toolbox

 

  • Simsbury Stormwater Design Guidelines

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    This companion document to the Simsbury Stormwater Article and the Simsbury Center Code focuses on LID in Simsbury Center and other compact, walkable areas of town. Highlights of the document include a recommended design process for including LID principles into future projects, along with a detailed analysis of one of three test sites (Simscroft Farms) to demonstrate the application of the Planning and Site Design Checklist and other design principles. Visit the Town’s website to view all documents related to its Low Impact Development Study.

    Download the full printable version (.pdf) to read more.

  • Low Impact Development Guidelines, CTDEEP

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    The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) is in the process of evaluating the incorporation of Low Impact Development (LID) principles into Stormwater General Permits. As a preliminary step, CTDEEP has developed LID Appendices to the Connecticut Stormwater Quality Manual and the Connecticut Guidelines for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control. Both documents include a step-by-step guide to the planning and design process and design standards and practices.

    Download the full printable versions (.pdf) to read more:

  • CRCOG/EPA Smart Growth Guidelines

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    In 2008, the Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) collaborated with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish guidelines for sustainable design and development specific to the Capitol Region’s unique blend of urban, suburban and rural municipalities. Included are guidelines for incorporating green building and infrastructure into community design.

    Download the full printable version (.pdf) to read more.

     

     

  • LA Model Street Design Manual (Streetscape Ecosystem Chapter)

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    This comprehensive guide addresses every aspect of a complete street, one that accommodates all modes of transportation as well as one that incorporates elements that create a lively, economically-vibrant and environmentally-sustainable street. This manual is designed to serve as a guide for municipalities looking to update their own design standards by incorporating elements or adopting entire sections. Chapter 11 contains a segment on Streetwater Management which includes a discussion on goals, benefits, considerations, and specific treatments.

    Download the full printable version (.pdf) to read more.

  • Rainfall as a Resource, CTDEEP

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    The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) issued an informative brochure targeting residents to serve as an introduction to green infrastructure elements applicable to residential properties. The brochure includes general information on Low Impact Development and practices residents can incorporate into their own homes such as rain barrels, rain gardens, and permeable pavements.

    Download the full printable version (.pdf) to read more.

  • 9 Ways to Make Green Infrastructure Work, Regional Plan Association

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    This report, issued by the Regional Plan Association (RPA), highlights nine strategies that municipalities across the United States are using to integrate land use and water management goals through Green Infrastructure. The report describes the specific challenges that were faced and solutions with specific examples that have been employed by cities and towns.

    Download the full printable version (.pdf) to read more.

     

     

     

  • Developing A Sustainable Community, CT NEMO

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    Produced by the Connecticut NEMO Program in 2009, this guide is designed to help CT municipalities craft plans and regulations to protect water quality. Recommended site planning and development practices in the areas of Residential Streets and Parking, Lot Development and the Conservation of Natural Areas are all addressed. A regulation checklist is included to help communities assess their town’s regulatory compliance with the highlighted practices and identify possible improvements.

    Download the full printable version (.pdf) to read more.

     

  • Connecticut LID Regulations Inventory

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    Visit CT NEMO’s on-line LID Regulations Inventory at http://clear.uconn.edu/tools/lid_reg/index.htm to find examples of municipal regulations in Connecticut that include innovative solutions to stormwater management. Towns are encouraged to keep this database current and provide NEMO with updated regulatory language as it becomes available.

     

     

     

     

  • Sustainable Land Use Model Regulations, CRCOG

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    CRCOG’s innovative booklet of Sustainable Land Use Model Regulations equips towns with model regulatory language covering ten specific topic areas, including Energy Conservation and Alternative Energy (with a focus on green roofs). The project, funded by a HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant, also included the creation of renderings to help communities visualize the physical impact of implementing the regulations. The visualizations were created for urban, suburban and rural communities at both a bird’s eye and street-level view. Click here to access: specific regulations by topic, the complete compendium of regulations, the accompanying visualizations and a video about the project.

Resources

 

Funding Sources

 

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website includes an extensive listing of potential federal funding sources for green infrastructure. The site also highlights resources (comprehensive guides, case studies and training materials) to help stormwater managers understand the many available funding options as well as links to spreadsheet tools to assess program costs and financing scenarios.

In the News

 

Implementation Projects