Street-Scale, Strategic Green Street Planning in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles region's Enhanced Watershed Management Programs (EWMPs) outlined a “recipe for compliance” with water quality regulations by recommending a variety of green infrastructure needs at the subwatershed-scale. Green streets constituted a substantial portion of the region's recommended stormwater control measures; however, the EWMP did not contain sufficient detail to identify specific project-by-project green street opportunities to meet regulatory milestones. Considering the extensive quantity of green streets necessary to meet water quality goals, the Dominguez Channel watershed management group (DC WMG) members designed a programmatic, watershed-wide approach to identify and prioritize specific green street projects. This paper outlines the steps necessary to build a strategic five-year green infrastructure plan and supporting programmatic framework for large, multi-jurisdictional urban areas.
Many structural, policy, and engineering feasibility constraints impact the possible implementation and design of green infrastructure in the Los Angeles region. To realistically account for these challenges, the DC WMG developed a robust approach that relies on high-resolution, site-scale data to thoroughly investigate the real-world feasibility of projects. The approach enables assessment and prioritization of projects at an actionable scale so that efficient, “shovel-ready” opportunities can be identified. Prioritized projects are then bundled with other concurrent capital projects to reduce overall implementation costs. Recommended project bundles are communicated via a web application to solicit feedback from municipal engineers/planners/scientists, and to allow transparent transfer of information between partner agencies, regulators, and non-governmental organizations to bolster public buy-in.
This strategic approach was validated across the 80-square-mile Dominguez Channel watershed management area. Results provide the DC WMG with the data needed to drive informed, transparent, and strategic water quality and stormwater management decisions. The collaborative, watershed-wide framework will allow for a more efficient use of funds and resources, coordination with other capital improvement projects, and a dynamic spatial identification and tracking database that can be updated as newer information becomes available. Results displayed in an interactive database and web application also give agencies an awareness for what EWMP implementation will “look like” at scale, and how conceptual, subwatershed-scale planning goals translate to actual projects in the ground.
This presentation will provide the audience with a clear recipe for how this strategic planning framework can be applied to other watersheds and capital planning needs. The speakers will engage the audience by demonstrating the 5-year planning tools and outputs using compelling graphics and a live demonstration of the web application. The content of this presentation addresses the conference theme by illustrating how to “connect the drops” between coarse-scale compliance plans and tactical, on-the-ground project implementation.