From October 26-28th, I was in Cleveland, OH for the second annual Green Infrastructure Summit hosted by the US EPA, the Northeast Regional Sewer District (NEORSD), the Great Lakes Environmental Finance Center, and Cleveland State University. The annual summit allows for open dialogue on green infrastructure among delegates from cities across the US that are implementing extensive green infrastructure initiatives through the sharing of new experiences with GI technologies and emerging implementation issues.
The summit began with a tour of some of Cleveland exciting green infrastructure projects led by experts from NEORSD. Cleveland is home to NEORSD’s Project Clean Lake, which makes use of both gray and green infrastructure to address CSO issues. Some of the highlighted projects included the West Creek Confluence Project , Slavic Village Demonstration Projects, and an outdoor theater parking lot in the Waterloo Neighborhood with several small green infrastructure technologies.
The rest of the summit allowed for extensive dialogue on the complex evolutions of green infrastructure planning and implementation strategies that have developed in each community. These stories demonstrated just how unique the environmental and community settings are for each case. Strategies that are incredibly successful in one city may fail in another due to subtle differences. I was fortunate enough to collect extensive qualitative and quantitative data during this visit, which will greatly assist in my research investigating how critical certain environmental and social variables play into these differences in implementation strategies for green infrastructure.