Green Stormwater Infrastructure in the Right-of-Way: 5 Case Studies

September 10, 2020

Green infrastructure in the right-of-way: a pilot project in Detroit. Photo by Julianne Lindsey.
Detroit is piloting green infrastructure projects in the right-of-way and engaging in deeper learning with peer cities.

Cities across the country are investing in their water infrastructure systems with hopes of achieving triple bottom line benefits – for people, the environment, and economic return. In the face of a changing climate that brings more extreme wet weather, a combination of gray infrastructure (pipes and tunnels) and green stormwater infrastructure (plants and soil) is a recipe for resilience that many cities are trying to perfect.

Alliance for the Great Lakes, in partnership with the City of Detroit Department of Public Works, identified five cities that have had success implementing green and gray water infrastructure improvements in their cities, with a focus on the public rights-of-way (streets). Streets are ideal for green stormwater management practices because they are already designed to move water, and streets make up a vast majority – up to half – of impervious surfaces in cities.

Check out our case studies on green stormwater infrastructure in the right-of-way to learn more about how these five cities have created policies, programs, design guidelines, and more to help them achieve their triple bottom line goals.