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J Environ Manage. 2018 Oct 1;223:371-384. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.06.029. Epub 2018 Jun 21.

A case-study based framework for assessing the multi-sector performance of green infrastructure.

Author information

1
Water in the West Program, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, 473 Via Ortega, Room 216, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA; Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, 473 Via Ortega, Room 218B, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address: blgordon@stanford.edu.
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 473 Via Ortega Room 314, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; ReNUWit Engineering Research Center, Stanford University, 473 Via Ortega Room 117, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
3
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 473 Via Ortega Room 314, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
4
Water in the West Program, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, 473 Via Ortega, Room 216, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA; ReNUWit Engineering Research Center, Stanford University, 473 Via Ortega Room 117, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, 473 Via Ortega, Room 218B, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Abstract

Green infrastructure is emerging as a holistic stormwater management strategy that can also provide multi-sector benefits. Robust demonstration of project success can help leverage the appeal of green infrastructure to different sectors and open the door to a variety of funding opportunities. Yet comprehensively assessing the performance of these natural systems can be challenging, especially when communicating the benefits to a wide variety of stakeholders. A cohesive, well-described assessment structure may promote a higher degree of investor confidence by more comprehensively monitoring and measuring green infrastructure success. This paper develops a conceptual framework that incorporates a robust assessment component for communicating with potential investors through the inclusion of multiple evaluation methods, performance metrics, and risk categories. The applied performance of this framework is then validated using fourteen U.S. and international case studies. We found that our framework fit a wide range of projects while maintaining a degree of flexibility that did not sacrifice specificity when applied to individual case studies. This suggests that: 1) some GI projects already incorporate one or more evaluation methods; 2) a number of highly specific metrics-particularly social and economic performance metrics-exist that are capable of capturing a wide-range of benefits that can be easily integrated into a framework; 3) the incorporation of risk and risk management technique identification could be emphasized to increase investor confidence; 4) at least some degree of standardization across projects exists already which can help future project implementers design GI strategies that best fit their needs.

KEYWORDS:

Environmental investing; Green infrastructure; Performance metrics; Stormwater management; Urban resilience

PMID:
29936350
DOI:
10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.06.029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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