Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2015 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Green Infrastructure Designer: A New Framework for Crowd-Sourced Green Infrastructure Design
Miles, Brian
Co-Authors: Lawrence E. Band

Abstract: The use of Green Infrastructure (GI) is growing in urbanized areas around the world as communities seek ways to address environmental management problems. Compared to more traditional grey infrastructure, which tends to be engineered to solve a single problem (e.g. draining storm water) green infrastructure such as bioretention cells, street trees, and green roofs promise to address are able to solve multiple environmental problems such as storm water management, urban heat island mitigation, native species habitat provision, and citizen access and proximity to vegetated open space. Most tools for evaluating the effectiveness of GI focus on single sites, making it difficult to determine the effectiveness, and to therefore justify the expense, of networks of GI operating in concert at the neighborhood, watershed, and regional scales. Here we present GI Designer, a novel web-based GI design framework that integrates interactive, neighborhood-scale, collaborative design by multiple stakeholders (“crowd-sourced” design) with multi-scale models of ecosystem and human impacts. Currently in development, GI Designer will allow storm water managers, landscape architects, and planners to design scenarios of GI implementation for neighborhoods and small watersheds, while allow these scenarios to be evaluated and compared based on hydrologic, human preference, cost, and other performance metrics. Using pilot work in progress in the Dead Run 5 watershed of Baltimore County, we demonstrate GI Designer’s ability to facilitate watershed-scale analyses of GI across multiple ecosystem services.