The City of Atlanta, like many cities, struggles with managing stormwater runoff that leads to flooding, degraded water quality and property damage. In response, the City convened an interdepartmental Green Infrastructure Task Force that has developed a Green Infrastructure Strategic Action Plan to incorporate environmentally sound engineering best practices into stormwater management. The City’s goal is to reduce runoff by 225 million gallons annually.
“The Green Infrastructure Strategic Action Plan aligns with Mayor Kasim Reed’s goal of making Atlanta a top-tier city in sustainability,” says Watershed Management Commissioner Jo Ann Macrina. “We are excited to work together with other departments and partners to break down policy, funding, and institutional barriers to incorporating green infrastructure into many of the City’s public infrastructure projects.”
Green infrastructure provides an alternative to traditional pipe replacement by incorporating elements designed to mimic nature to more effectively manage urban stormwater and reduce flooding, erosion and sewer overflows. In addition to increased capacity relief, green infrastructure provides significant community amenities and enhancements.
The Green Infrastructure Task Force consists of staff from the departments of Watershed Management, Aviation, Planning and Community Development, Public Works, Parks, and the Office of Sustainability, in addition to several partner organizations, including The Conservation Fund, American Rivers, InvestAtlanta, and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.
Atlanta has emerged as a leader in green infrastructure through the successful adoption of the nation’s most far-reaching post-development stormwater ordinance and the completion of the 2-acre Historic Fourth Ward Pond. Currently more than 10 green infrastructure projects are underway in the City of Atlanta including the largest permeable paver retrofit project in North America under construction in Peoplestown, Summerhill and Mechanicsville.