New Guide for Green Infrastructure Retrofits

The year 2013 kicks off with the introduction of the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s (CNT) guide Upgrade Your Infrastructure, which assists cities establish and meet goals regarding the installation of green infrastructure retrofits.

According to the CNT, “Polluted stormwater is one of the greatest challenges we have to clean drinking water and surface waters in the United States. In highly urbanized environments, more than 90% of rainwater may run off impervious surfaces and enter the stormwater’s systems capacity, untreated raw sewage discharges directly to surface streams resulting in Combined Sewer Overflows or Separated Sewer Overflows.”

Cities’ retrofitting their infrastructure system can be a cost-effective, amendable and environmentally-sound strategy to manager stormwater runoff as a resource and lessen surplus water from sewer systems.

“An increasing number of cities across the Great Lakes and nationally are making multi-million dollar investments in green infrastructure as part of their long term control plans for managing CSOs and, at the same time, reducing local flooding,” states the CNT.

But, due to the lack of common methodology, implementation can be disorganized and lacking a systematic approach. “This new guide illustrates the use of a “Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard”, which provides a pathway for cities to establish feasible annual retrofit goals, meet these goals with a simple methodology and demonstrate progress over the course of multiple years,” states the CNT.

This guide is a joint initiative between CNT, American Rivers and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, with a grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency Region 5.

Established in 1978, the CNT “…has been a leader in promoting more liveable and sustainable urban communities.” For more information visit

This looks like just one, of many ecofriendly initiatives which will be introduced in Chicago this year.