Zube Lecture series: ‘How effective is green infrastructure for stormwater management?’

Sourced from the Daily Collegian

On Wednesday, Moira Zellner, associate professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois, gave a lecture titled “How Effective is Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management?” in the Olver Design Building. Her talk was the ninth in this semester’s Zube Lecture Series put on by the department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning.

Discussing the design process, Zellner said, “I wanted to come up with answers to two questions: How much green infrastructure do we need, and where should it be located?

“We built a model,” she continued. “A computational cellular model of integrating land cover with hydrology…and when we built this model, we tried to answer those two questions with it.”

“For small storms, we need about 10 percent coverage of green infrastructure to prevent runoff from going downstream. [With 10 percent coverage], we start to see infiltration by green infrastructure surpass infiltration by sewers,” said Zellner.

She also touched on bigger, 100-year storms, saying “It’s a different story. You need much more than [10 percent coverage]. We can see that we would need about 20 to 30 percent more to eliminate runoff downstream in a particular neighborhood, and a little bit less than that to alleviate the sewer system.

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