Green Infrastructure Is Cheaper and Better for Stormwater Control, says research report prepared for Illinois EPA


Scope of Research

A research team led by the University of Illinois at Chicago has advised the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to phase in green infrastructure requirements for better and cheaper control of stormwater in all new development and redevelopment.  To download a copy of the report, click on The Illinois Green Infrastructure Study.

The research team analyzed permeable pavement, green roofs, constructed wetlands, on-site stormwater filtration systems and other green means of controlling stormwater. To read the complete story, click on Green Infrastructure Is Cheaper and Better for Stormwater Control

The researchers examined data in published, peer-reviewed studies to evaluate the effectiveness of green infrastructure.



To assess the cost- effectiveness of green infrastructure, the researchers used a literature review, data from past research and a green infrastructure economic model called the Green Values® Calculator, developed by the Center for Neighborhood Technology to compare different urban stormwater management technologies – both green and conventional — over their useful lives.


Mitigation Effectiveness

To evaluate the effectiveness of green infrastructure, they used four indicators. Based on a starting point that sedimentation, nutrient enrichment and flooding are among the three biggest stormwater problems threatening ecosystem and human health, mitigation of total suspended solids (TSS), total nitrogen (TN), runoff volume, and peak flow were selected for comparison between types of green infrastructure.


Green Infrastructure Definition

The State of Illinois Environmental Protection Agency defines 'green infrastructure' as “any stormwater management technique or practice employed with the primary goal of preserving, restoring, or mimicking natural hydrology”.


Posted June 2010