Philadelphia Manages Stormwater with “Green Infrastructure”

This video explains how the city of Philadelphia is reducing storm water management costs using “green infrastructure” such as bioswales.

Green City, Clean Waters from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland region spends $3 billion under an order from the EPA to separate its storm and sanitary sewers. Perhaps if there would have been more thoughtful planning …

Kudos to Philadelphia for taking a smart approach to water management.

A Philadelphia green roof reduces impervious surface and the strain on the sewer system.

(Also, thanks Chris for alerting us to this story.)

Water quality management and Smart Growth: two things you’re going to be hearing about more in the future.



Filed under Featured, the environment, Urban Planning

6 responses to “Philadelphia Manages Stormwater with “Green Infrastructure”

  1. Special K

    Storm water runoff is definitely a key issue for Great Lakes cities.

  2. Pingback: Our video on Philly’s Green Infrastructure program is making the rounds; Clevelanders “green” with envy… « GreenTreks

  3. Asaf Hanish - South Philadelphia

    I always thought that a separated sewage and storm runoff system was the gold standard of infrastructure. I found the video very informative in that even if we do manage to finance a separation, that will not necessarily lead to clean discharge system, perhaps only slightly cleaner. However, I find the tone of the municipal water representative and community activists to be entirely too optimistic with regards to green storm water recapture initiatives. Achieving a few demonstration projects such as the new convention center roof and perhaps a park or two is not the same as a city wide infrastructure overall. It seems like the objective is to spur roof greening on a volunteer basis by individual business & private residences. Excuse me for sounding cynical, but I doubt this could or would ever be implemented on a large scale. Without wide scale participation, Philadelphia’s storm run off policy is essentially to do…nothing at all.

  4. Great video, and always interesting to check out another city’s storm water mitigation plans. NYC recently began the implementation of a green infrastructure plan as well. Full details are available below, but the project is projected to reduce runoff by 40% by 2030.

    For information on how Green Roofs mitigate stormwater and fit into green infrastructure plans, please visit

  5. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s plans do have a $42 million green infrastructure component.

  6. hovaard

    very nice video with truly committed governmental workers. thanks.

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