Stormwater Runoff -- A Community Amenity?
By citing case studies in Seattle and Denver, this article from Smart Growth Online proposes that the historically unglamorous task of dealing with stormwater runoff be integrated with community design to create livable, attractive and environmentally friendly places.
"The next change for creating great places is adding function to stormwater runoff management. Architects, town planners, and developers need to start imagining how a community's runoff can be harnessed to create a more inviting, dynamic, and vibrant neighborhood."
"Increasing densities regionally can better protect water resources at a regional level, higher-density development can create more site-level impervious cover, which can increase water-quality problems in nearby or adjacent bodies of water. Numerous site-level techniques are available to address this problem. When used in combination with regional techniques, these site-level techniques can prevent, treat, and store runoff and associated pollutants. Many of these practices incorporate low-impact development techniques, such as rain gardens, bio-retention areas, and grass swales. Others go further by changing site-design practices, for example, by reducing parking spaces, narrowing streets, and eliminating cul-de-sacs."