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Overcoming Barriers to Municipal Green Infrastructure Implementation

Year Awarded: 2021
Awarded: $150,000
Team Leader:  Delta Institute

This design project will examine the primary obstacles to developing green infrastructure and other stormwater management projects in small and mid-size communities. Stormwater management projects in municipalities are becoming increasingly urgent, driven by frequent flooding and exacerbated by more frequent and intense storms. These problems develop most acutely in low-income and disadvantaged communities where governments and sewer districts lack the resources to deliver effective solutions. Often, smaller communities have fewer financing options for green infrastructure and stormwater management projects than their larger counterparts. At the same time, however, there is growing investor interest in financing green infrastructure projects in these communities.

This project represents an important first step in connecting these communities in need with interested investors and other sources of project financing. The project team will work with managers from Great Lakes municipalities (focusing on disadvantaged communities) and representatives of potential investors to design financial “prototype” products that bridge this gap. While these prototypes will not be tested during this design project, the team will step through cities’ approval processes to identify and resolve obstacles that might include zoning ordinances, legal review, green infrastructure maintenance, and budgeting.

If successful, this design work will be the foundation for an implementation proposal to the Fund where the team will test the prototypes developed.