Green Infrastructure in the Ultra-Urban Environment Using Urban Forestry and Tree Stormwater Control Measures
The use of green infrastructure is recognized as an effective practice to reduce stormwater flow, improve water quality and provide other benefits in highly impervious urban areas. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the new Municipal Regional Permit (MRP) is expected to require Green Infrastructure (GI) planning and implementation at both the site and jurisdiction-wide scale. This presentation and discussion will look at using emerging technologies related to urban forestry to reimagine stormwater planning and implementation at those scales and some of the challenges ahead.
There are many design options for treating stormwater runoff with vegetation but few that can fit into the ultra-urban environment where space is at a premium. Further, many of the existing technologies require considerable maintenance and utilize valuable real estate. Tree Stormwater Control Measure (Tree SCM) systems have the potential to not only contribute significantly to urban stormwater management, but also to provide much needed increase in urban tree canopy coverage and reduce heat island effects. However, many engineers, arborists and stormwater practitioners are not aware of the scale of stormwater management possibilities with large trees. Others have concerns about negative impacts on other urban infrastructure. Still others have misconceptions about what is needed to successfully use trees for stormwater management.
This session will educate and provide a platform that allows for informed discussion about all the above concerns. The session will show case studies of existing Tree SCM’s throughout the country and provide lessons learned about design, installation and maintenance. This discussion will also include a summary of a year-long field monitoring study of a tree SCM by NCSU. The speakers will present an implementation model using Tree SCMs to demonstrate how the above concepts are translated into practice at the watershed scale. This model will address scale, urban tree canopy goals, retrofit applications, infrastructure conflicts and concerns, job creation and financing.
After the presentations there will be time for discussion, and the audience will be invited to ask questions about MRP Planning, GI, and Tree SCMs, as well as share lessons they have learned. Upon completion, participants will be to identify cutting edge policy, program and technology developments to encourage Tree SCMs and be able to rethink the role of trees in GI for meeting permit requirements.