NEW STUDY: Green Infrastructure Investments Pay Off in Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Kate Madison, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Center for Economic Development



1 million US gallons of “water-retaining green storage capacity” to be added each year

A team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s Center for Economic Development has demonstrated that integrating green infrastructure (GI) features into redevelopment projects has reaped financial benefits for property developers, homeowners and local taxing authorities.

Bioswales and underground detention basin (under Zilber Park) at The Brewery in Milwaukee.

The Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District (MMSD) has implemented a variety of green infrastructure projects that capture rain where it falls. By reducing runoff volume, such projects help prevent sewer system overflows and basement backups during heavy storms. The US Environmental Protection Agency requested that MMSD do a study to quantify the financial benefits of green infrastructure projects.

“Using local data, we were able to develop four hedonic pricing models that measure the impacts of Green Infrastructure on property values,” explains Kate Madison, ACIP, policy analyst and lead researcher. “Overall, the models indicate that the integration of GI into redevelopment projects has had a positive impact on property values.”

“Unlike other forms of infrastructure that have known and well- established economic benefits, GI is a relatively new form of infrastructure and there aren’t a lot of studies out there measuring GI impacts beyond savings to grey infrastructure systems.”

“The EPA is leading the way, but more work needs to be done in this area. By demonstrating that GI techniques have added economic benefits, incorporating Green Infrastructure can become standard practice in the development or redevelopment process,” concludes Kate Madison.

The new wastewater permit for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District requires that it add at least 1 million US gallons of water-retaining infrastructure each year. The permit is the first of its kind in the United States.



To read the complete story about the study, click on Green Infrastructure Investments Pay Off in Milwaukee, Wisconsin or contact Kate Madison at