Urban Runoff: Low Impact Development
The term low impact development (LID) refers to systems and practices that use or mimic natural processes that result in the infiltration, evapotranspiration or use of stormwater in order to protect water quality and associated aquatic habitat. EPA currently uses the term green infrastructure to refer to the management of wet weather flows that use these processes, and to refer to the patchwork of natural areas that provide habitat, flood protection, cleaner air and cleaner water. At both the site and regional scale, LID/GI practices aim to preserve, restore and create green space using soils, vegetation, and rainwater harvest techniques. LID is an approach to land development (or re-development) that works with nature to manage stormwater as close to its source as possible. LID employs principles such as preserving and recreating natural landscape features, minimizing effective imperviousness to create functional and appealing site drainage that treat stormwater as a resource rather than a waste product. There are many practices that have been used to adhere to these principles such as bioretention facilities, rain gardens, vegetated rooftops, rain barrels and permeable pavements. By implementing LID principles and practices, water can be managed in a way that reduces the impact of built areas and promotes the natural movement of water within an ecosystem or watershed. Applied on a broad scale, LID can maintain or restore a watershed's hydrologic and ecological functions.
You will find fact sheets and technical reports both here and on EPA's Green Infrastructure pages.
Green Streets Handbook: This handbook is intended to help state and local transportation agencies, municipal officials, designers, stakeholders and others to select, design and implement site design strategies and green infrastructure practices for roads, alleys and parking lots. The document provides background information on street and road typologies and offers a programmatic framework to use when identifying areas that can be initially designed or later retrofitted with green infrastructure practices or systems.
This guide was created to help congregations work through the process of enhancing their grounds by implementing green stormwater management practices.
This guide is intended to encourage partnerships between park agencies and stormwater agencies aimed at promoting the use of green infrastructure on park lands. Green infrastructure can help to maximize the environmental, economic, and social benefits of parks. It includes recommendations on the types of projects that are most likely to attract positive attention and funding, and which provide a wide range of benefits.
- Barrier Buster #1: How LID Can Protect Your Community’s Resources (pdf)
Barrier Buster #2: Terminology of Low Impact Development - Distinguishing LID from other Techniques that Address Community Growth Issues (pdf)
Addresses LID’s place in the jumble of terms for managing the environmental impacts of growth that coexist today and describes and distinguishes these terms.
Barrier Buster #3: Costs of Low Impact Development - LID Saves Money and Protects Your Community’s Resources (pdf)
Challenges the perception that LID is too expensive.
Barrier Buster #4: Aesthetics of Low Impact Development - LID Technologies Can Benefit Your Community’s Visual Environment (pdf)
Challenges the perception that LID is unattractive.
Barrier Buster # 5: Effectiveness of Low Impact Development - Proven LID Technologies Can Work for Your Community (pdf)
Challenges the perception that LID doesn't work.
Barrier Buster #6: Maintenance of Low Impact Development - Communities Are Easily Managing LID Practices (pdf)
Challenges the perception that LID is too hard or costly to maintain.
Barrier Buster #7: Encouraging Low Impact Development - Incentives Can Encourage Adoption of LID Practices in Your Community (pdf)
Highlights incentive strategies to catalyze LID.
Barrier Buster #8: Soil Constraints and Low Impact Development - Careful Planning Helps LID Work in Clay Soils (pdf)
Challenges the perception that LID can’t work in clay soils.
Barrier Buster #9: Slopes and Low Impact Development - Designing and Siting LID Practices on Slopes (pdf)
Challenges the perception that LID doesn’t work in areas with significant slopes.
Barrier Buster #10: Large Volume Storms and Low Impact Development - Using LID Practices in Areas with Intense Rainfall Events (pdf)
Challenges the perception that LID doesn’t work in areas subject to large volume storms.
Barrier Buster #11: Space Limitations and Low Impact Development - LID Practices are Well-Suited for Small Spaces (pdf)
Challenges the perception that LID requires a lot of space.
Barrier Buster #12: Revising Local Codes to Facilitate Low Impact Development - Creating LID–Local Development Code Connections Will Assist with Implementation (pdf)
Addresses what many see as the largest remaining barrier to greater use of LID/GSI: barriers in local development codes that have prevented greater adoption of LID.