Environmental Management

, Volume 51, Issue 6, pp 1093–1108 | Cite as

Perspectives on the Use of Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management in Cleveland and Milwaukee

  • Melissa Keeley
  • Althea Koburger
  • David P. Dolowitz
  • Dale Medearis
  • Darla Nickel
  • William Shuster


Green infrastructure is a general term referring to the management of landscapes in ways that generate human and ecosystem benefits. Many municipalities have begun to utilize green infrastructure in efforts to meet stormwater management goals. This study examines challenges to integrating gray and green infrastructure for stormwater management, informed by interviews with practitioners in Cleveland, OH and Milwaukee WI. Green infrastructure in these cities is utilized under conditions of extreme fiscal austerity and its use presents opportunities to connect stormwater management with urban revitalization and economic recovery while planning for the effects of negative- or zero-population growth. In this context, specific challenges in capturing the multiple benefits of green infrastructure exist because the projects required to meet federally mandated stormwater management targets and the needs of urban redevelopment frequently differ in scale and location.


LID Green infrastructure Cleveland OH Milwaukee WI Urban redevelopment Stormwater management 



This study was supported, in part, by the US EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) and National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL), under contract EP-11-C-000067. The authors wish to thank Kyle Dreyfus-Wells, Frank Greenland, Peter McAvoy, Terry Schwarz, Kevin Shafer, Lilah Zautner, and two interviewees who wished to remain anonymous for their contributions to the study. We also appreciate the helpful input of Laura Grape, Sayedul Choudhury, Bob Newport, Brooke Furio, and four anonymous reviewers. This research was performed in compliance with the US ethical standards under the review of the George Washington University Institutional Review Board. The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa Keeley
    • 1
  • Althea Koburger
    • 2
  • David P. Dolowitz
    • 3
  • Dale Medearis
    • 4
  • Darla Nickel
    • 5
  • William Shuster
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of GeographyGeorge Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Masters CandidateGeorge Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PoliticsUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  4. 4.Northern Virginia Regional CommissionFairfaxUSA
  5. 5.Ecologic InstituteBerlinGermany
  6. 6.US Environmental Protection AgencyCincinnatiUSA

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