Aligning Consent Orders and Community Needs


  • Emerging trends in stormwater compliance for developed urban areas, including green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) approaches
  • Challenges and opportunities that arise from stormwater-management plans, including plan affordability; community engagement; and project ownership, design, and funding
  • How to leverage incentives and engagement strategies to encourage citizens and organizations to become involved in planning and designing GSI projects customized to meet community needs


At a time when public spending and regulation are under the microscope, explore how cities can meet environmental mandates while addressing competing community priorities. Concerns about the cost of environmental compliance and whether low-income communities benefit from the costs incurred are very real considerations for cities facing consent orders, or other environmental mandates. The EPA estimates that at least $68 billion is needed nationally for CSO correction and stormwater management over the next 25 years. Philadelphia and Detroit, two major cities grappling with this expensive challenge, are attempting to balance the need for greater investments in stormwater infrastructure with affordability for ratepayers and residents. This course showcases green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) practices and incentive programs that contribute to environmental compliance, enhance neighborhood spaces, and help small property owners reduce their bills. GSI presents an opportunity to create amenities and value from stormwater management. Case studies from Detroit and Philadelphia demonstrate how planners in different sectors can support diverse property owners to implement GSI projects that are mutually beneficial to individuals and the broader community. The course concludes with a moderated discussion.