Forward-thinking planners, engineers, and designers are treating streets as part of the ecological fabric of cities, integrating green infrastructure into the street alongside transit infrastructure and safe places for people walking and biking.
Concrete and asphalt dominate urban landscapes: in urbanized areas, at least 60% of land is impervious surface. Water that falls on roofs, streets, and parking lots becomes stormwater runoff that, by design, is channeled and conveyed by city streets into stormwater management systems. Through more holistic designs, streets can also capture and infiltrate this stormwater back into the urban ecosystem, generating enormous ecological, economic, and public health benefits.
The Urban Street Stormwater peer network was convened in 2016 to explore this opportunity. Originally formed to develop the Urban Street Stormwater Guide, this peer group of city transportation, public works, and water departments is identifying opportunities to bring resilient infrastructure together with safer, healthier, and more vibrant streets.
Open to NACTO member cities and agencies, the Stormwater Peer Network shares lessons learned, develops best practice, and participates in programming in order to advance the national conversation about how cities can meet the twin challenges of ecology and mobility through green streets.