Milwaukee’s Green Infrastructure 2035 Vision

Via Medium, an article on Milwaukee’s 2035 Vision aims to scale up green infrastructure using natural processes to improve water quality and manage water quantity by restoring the hydrologic function of the urban landscape:

Urban development typically retains little or none of the original vegetation and landscape, with impervious surfaces, including buildings, roads, gardens and parks, impacting the natural hydrology of an area as well as freshwater habitats for species. Green infrastructure provides an ability to restore natural environmental features to urban environments, thus helping to alleviate floods. Green infrastructure can contribute to flood alleviation by delaying the downstream passage of water flows, reducing the volume of runoff through interception and promoting rainfall infiltration into soils.

Green infrastructure can remove pollutants directly from stormwater. Using natural processes, green infrastructure can filter pollutants and degrade them biologically or chemically, both of which are particularly beneficial for separate stormwater sewer systems that do not provide additional treatment before discharging stormwater. Green infrastructure can also improve the health of waterways by reducing erosion and sedimentation and reducing pollutant concentrations in rivers, lakes and streams. This in turn leads to overall riparian health and aesthetics.

Milwaukee’s Green Infrastructure 2035 Vision

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s (MMSD) 2035 Vision aims to scale up and mainstream integrated watershed management and enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation. The 2035 Vision aims to create enough green infrastructure in its service area to capture 740 million gallons of water each time it rains. In support of the 2035 Vision, the Green Infrastructure Partnership Program (GIPP), launched in 2021, is inviting public, non-profit, and private sector organisations within eligible municipalities to apply for funding to create new green infrastructure, including rain gardens, bioswales, green roofs, and other techniques, to help capture stormwater runoff. The GIPP provides incentive funding on a per-gallon-captured, reimbursement basis for green infrastructure strategies that capture and purify water where it falls. Applications are scored against a set of criteria, with the focus on the applicant’s ability and commitment to implement, maintain, and promote their project.

The take-out

Organisations can be incentivised to develop green infrastructure on their land, helping to quickly realise strategic visions.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 20th, 2023 at 2:10 pm and is filed under Green Design, Resilient Infrastructure.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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Black Swans / Green Shoots examines the collision between urbanization and resource scarcity in a world affected by climate change, identifying opportunities to build sustainable cities and resilient infrastructure through the use of revolutionary capital, increased awareness, innovative technologies, and smart design to make a difference in the face of global and local climate perils.

'Black Swans' are highly improbable events that come as a surprise, have major disruptive effects, and that are often rationalized after the fact as if they had been predictable to begin with. In our rapidly warming world, such events are occurring ever more frequently and include wildfires, floods, extreme heat, and drought.

'Green Shoots' is a term used to describe signs of economic recovery or positive data during a downturn. It references a period of growth and recovery, when plants start to show signs of health and life, and, therefore, has been employed as a metaphor for a recovering economy.

It is my hope that Black Swans / Green Shoots will help readers understand both climate-activated risk and opportunity so that you may invest in, advise, or lead organizations in the context of increasing pressures of global urbanization, resource scarcity, and perils relating to climate change. I believe that the tools of business and finance can help individuals, businesses, and global society make informed choices about who and what to protect, and I hope that this blog provides some insight into the policy and private sector tools used to assess investments in resilient reinforcement, response, or recovery.