Technical Papers
Sep 8, 2021

Reading the Green Landscape: Public Attitudes toward Green Stormwater Infrastructure and the Perceived Nonmonetary Value of Its Co-Benefits in Three US Cities

Publication: Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment
Volume 7, Issue 4

Abstract

Green stormwater infrastructure mirrors natural hydrologic processes and is presented as an alternative or complement to traditional gray stormwater infrastructure, which uses concrete channels and pipes to convey flows away from neighborhoods. To encourage green infrastructure installation, practitioners promote co-benefits, also called ancillary social, ecological, and environmental benefits. Co-benefits are accrued at the neighborhood-scale, yet the public is not often asked to weigh in on its preferred outcomes. This study surveys the public with a goal to move beyond economic valuation to obtain a better understanding of preference for green infrastructure and how respondents value co-benefits. A representative sample of residents in three US cities (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Denver, Colorado; and Seattle, Washington) were presented informational material and then queried for their preference for different infrastructure types and 16 co-benefits. Results show that preferences for stormwater infrastructure, as well as value assigned to associated co-benefits, vary across cities and different demographic groups. Of the three cities in this study, Philadelphia residents had a higher preference for gray infrastructure to handle stormwater in their neighborhood. As the level of survey respondent’s educational attainment increased, so did their preference for new installations of green infrastructure. Perceived value of co-benefits was generally high but varied across different co-benefit/demographic group pairings. The value of community amenity benefits (e.g., increased recreational opportunities) was found to vary between study cities. Public attitudes toward increased property values varied by age and race; attitudes toward community gardens varied by economic security; and attitudes towards improved water quality varied by race. Study results show that stormwater infrastructure and co-benefits are not valued uniformly across demographic groups and vary regionally. We advocate that practitioners engage a representative subset of the population within the appropriate area, especially where infrastructure is planned, to ensure stormwater solutions promote social and environmental equity.

Get full access to this article

View all available purchase options and get full access to this article.

Data Availability Statement

Some or all data, models, or code generated or used during the study are proprietary or confidential in nature and may only be provided with restrictions. Survey data was collected as part of Human Subjects Institutional Review Board exemption; part of the exemption requirement is that data cannot be shared in its raw from such that respondents could be identified.

Acknowledgments

This publication was developed under Assistance Agreement No. R836174 awarded by the USEPA. It has not been formally reviewed by EPA. The views expressed in this document are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the agency. EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned in this publication. Additional support came from the National Science Foundation’s Re-inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt) Engineering Research Center (Award No. EEC-1028968)

References

Alves, A., J. Patiño Gómez, Z. Vojinovic, A. Sánchez, and S. Weesakul. 2018. “Combining co-benefits and stakeholders perceptions into green infrastructure selection for flood risk reduction.” Environments 5 (2): 29. https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5020029.
Ando, A. W., C. L. Cadavid, N. R. Netusil, and B. Parthum. 2020. “Willingness-to-volunteer and stability of preferences between cities: Estimating the benefits of stormwater management.” J. Environ. Econ. Manage. 99 (Jan): 102274. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeem.2019.102274.
Armstrong, D. 2000. “A survey of community gardens in upstate New York: Implications for health promotion and community development.” Health Place 6 (4): 319–327. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1353-8292(00)00013-7.
Armstrong, R. A. 2014. “When to use the Bonferroni correction.” In Ophthalmic & physiological optics: The journal of the British College of Ophthalmic Opticians (Optometrists). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. https://doi.org/10.1111/opo.12131.
Baker, A., E. Brenneman, H. Chang, L. McPhillips, and M. Matsler. 2019. “Spatial analysis of landscape and sociodemographic factors associated with green stormwater infrastructure distribution in Baltimore, Maryland and Portland, Oregon.” Sci. Total Environ. 664 (May): 461–473. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.417.
Baptiste, A. K., C. Foley, and R. Smardon. 2015. “Understanding urban neighborhood differences in willingness to implement green infrastructure measures: A case study of Syracuse, NY.” Landscape Urban Plann. 136 (Apr): 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.11.012.
Bell, C. D., K. Spahr, E. Grubert, J. Stokes-Draut, E. Gallo, J. E. McCray, and T. S. Hogue. 2019. “Decision making on the gray-green stormwater infrastructure continuum.” J. Sustainable Water Built Environ. 5 (1): 04018016. https://doi.org/10.1061/JSWBAY.0000871.
Boone, H. N., and D. A. Boone. 2012. “Analyzing Likert data.” J. Extension 50 (2): 50.
Brent, D. A., L. Gangadharan, A. Lassiter, A. Leroux, and P. A. Raschky. 2017. “Valuing environmental services provided by local stormwater management.” Water Resour. Res. 53 (6): 4907–4921. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016WR019776.
Brown, H. L., D. G. Bos, C. J. Walsh, T. D. Fletcher, and S. Ross Rakesh. 2016. “More than money: How multiple factors influence householder participation in at-source stormwater management.” J. Environ. Plann. Manage. 59 (1): 79–97. https://doi.org/10.1080/09640568.2014.984017.
Byrne, J. A., A. Y. Lo, and Y. Jianjun. 2015. “Residents’ understanding of the role of green infrastructure for climate change adaptation in Hangzhou, China.” Landscape Urban Plann. 138 (Jun): 132–143. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.02.013.
City of Denver. 2019. “Denver open data catalog: Storm detention and water quality areas.” Accessed September 6, 2019. https://www.denvergov.org/opendata/dataset/city-and-county-of-denver-storm-detention-and-water-quality-areas.
Couper, M. P., A. Kapteyn, M. Schonlau, and J. Winter. 2007. “Noncoverage and nonresponse in an internet survey.” Social Sci. Res. 36 (1): 131–148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2005.10.002.
Cousins, J. J. 2017. “Infrastructure and institutions: Stakeholder perspectives of stormwater governance in Chicago.” Cities 66 (Jun): 44–52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2017.03.005.
Derkzen, M. L., A. J. A. van Teeffelen, and P. H. Verburg. 2017. “Green infrastructure for urban climate adaptation: How do residents’ views on climate impacts and green infrastructure shape adaptation preferences?” Landscape Urban Plann. 157 (Jan): 106–130. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.05.027.
Gallo, E. M., C. D. Bell, C. L. Panos, S. M. Smith, and T. S. Hogue. 2020. “Investigating tradeoffs of green to grey stormwater infrastructure using a planning-level decision support tool.” Water 12 (7): 2005. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12072005.
Gómez-Baggethun, E., and D. N. Barton. 2013. “Classifying and valuing ecosystem services for urban planning.” Ecol. Econ. 86 (Feb): 235–245. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.08.019.
Gorelick, M. H., L. Gould, M. Nimmer, D. Wagner, M. Heath, H. Bashir, and D. C. Brousseau. 2011. “Perceptions about water and increased use of bottled water in minority children.” Archiv. Pediatr. Adolesc. Med. 165 (10): 928–932. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.83.
Guitart, D., C. Pickering, and J. Byrne. 2012. “Past results and future directions in urban community gardens research.” Urban For. Urban Greening 11 (4): 364–373. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2012.06.007.
Heckert, M., and C. D. Rosan. 2018. “Creating GIS-based planning tools to promote equity through green infrastructure.” Front. Built Environ. 4: 27. https://doi.org/10.3389/fbuil.2018.00027.
Hoffman, J. S., V. Shandas, and N. Pendleton. 2020. “The effects of historical housing policies on resident exposure to intra-urban heat: A study of 108 US urban areas.” Climate 8 (1): 12. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8010012.
Hopkins, K. G., N. B. Grimm, and A. M. York. 2018. “Influence of governance structure on green stormwater infrastructure investment.” Environ. Sci. Policy 84 (Jun): 124–133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2018.03.008.
Kaplowitz, M. D., and F. Lupi. 2012. “Stakeholder preferences for best management practices for non-point source pollution and stormwater control.” Landscape Urban Plann. 104 (3–4): 364–372. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2011.11.013.
Keeley, M. 2007. “Using individual parcel assessments to improve stormwater management.” J. Am. Plann. Assoc. 73 (2): 149–160. https://doi.org/10.1080/01944360708976149.
Keeley, M., A. Koburger, D. P. Dolowitz, D. Medearis, D. Nickel, and W. Shuster. 2013. “Perspectives on the use of green infrastructure for stormwater management in Cleveland and Milwaukee.” Environ. Manage. 51 (6): 1093–1108. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-013-0032-x.
Krieger, J., and E. Grubert. 2021. “Life-cycle costing for distributed stormwater control measures on the gray-green continuum: A planning-level tool.” J. Sustainable Water Built Environ. 7 (1): 04020019. https://doi.org/10.1061/JSWBAY.0000933.
Larson, K. L., E. A. Corley, R. Andrade, S. J. Hall, A. M. York, S. Meerow, P. Coseo, D. L. Childers, and D. M. Hondula. 2019. “Subjective evaluations of ecosystem services and disservices: An approach to creating and analyzing robust survey scales.” Ecol. Soc. 24 (2). https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-10888-240207.
Lennon, M. 2015. “Green infrastructure and planning policy: A critical assessment.” Local Environ. 20 (8): 957–980. https://doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2014.880411.
Londoño Cadavid, C., and A. W. Ando. 2013. “Valuing preferences over stormwater management outcomes including improved hydrologic function.” Water Resour. Res. 49 (7): 4114–4125. https://doi.org/10.1002/wrcr.20317.
McGarity, A., F. Hung, C. Rosan, B. Hobbs, M. Heckert, and S. Szalay. 2015. “Quantifying Benefits of Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Philadelphia.” In Proc., World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2015, 409–420. Reston, VA: ASCE.
Meerow, S., and J. P. Newell. 2017. “Spatial planning for multifunctional green infrastructure: Growing resilience in Detroit.” Landscape Urban Plann. 159 (Mar): 62–75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.10.005.
Meerow, S., P. Pajouhesh, and T. R. Miller. 2019. “Social equity in urban resilience planning.” Local Environ. 24 (9): 793–808. https://doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2019.1645103.
Moore, J., L. Stinson, and E. Welniak. 2000. “Income Measurement Error in Surveys: A Review.” J. Official Stat. 16 (4): 331–362.
Nelson, R. K., L. Winling, R. Marciano, and N. Connolly. 2018. Mapping inequality: Redlining in new deal America. New Deal America, LA: American Panorama.
Pagano, A., I. Pluchinotta, P. Pengal, B. Cokan, and R. Giordano. 2019. “Engaging stakeholders in the assessment of NBS effectiveness in flood risk reduction: A participatory system dynamics model for benefits and co-benefits evaluation.” Sci. Total Environ. 690 (Nov): 543–555. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.07.059.
Pascual, U., et al. 2017. “Valuing nature’s contributions to people: The IPBES approach.” Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustainability 26–27 (Jun): 7–16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2016.12.006.
Pearsall, H., and Z. Christman. 2012. “Tree-lined lanes or vacant lots? Evaluating non-stationarity between urban greenness and socio-economic conditions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA at multiple scales.” Appl. Geogr. 35 (1–2): 257–264. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2012.07.006.
Penn, J., W. Hu, L. Cox, and L. Kozloff. 2014. “Resident and tourist preferences for stormwater management strategies in Oahu, Hawaii.” Ocean Coastal Manage. 98 (Sep): 79–85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2014.06.002.
Philly Watersheds. 2018. “Green city, clean waters.” Accessed July 7, 2019. https://www.phillywatersheds.org/what_were_doing/documents_and_data/cso_long_term_control_plan.
Reichert, P., S. D. Langhans, J. Lienert, and N. Schuwirth. 2015. “The conceptual foundation of environmental decision support.” J. Environ. Manage. 154 (May): 316–332. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2015.01.053.
Sanders, J. C. 2010. Seattle and the roots of urban sustainability: Inventing Ecotopia. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Seattle Public Utilities. 2015. Volume 3 integrated plan final. Seattle: Seattle Public Utilities.
Seppelt, R., C. F. Dormann, F. V. Eppink, S. Lautenbach, and S. Schmidt. 2011. “A quantitative review of ecosystem service studies: Approaches, shortcomings and the road ahead.” J. Appl. Ecol. 48 (3): 630–636. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01952.x.
Shin, D. W., and L. Mccann. 2018. “Enhancing adoption studies: The case of residential stormwater management practices in the midwest.” Agric. Resour. Econ. Rev. 47 (1): 32–65. https://doi.org/10.1017/age.2017.3.
Shokry, G., J. J. Connolly, and I. Anguelovski. 2020. “Understanding climate gentrification and shifting landscapes of protection and vulnerability in green resilient Philadelphia.” Urban Clim. 31 (Mar): 100539. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.uclim.2019.100539.
Smith, G., and W. G. Smith. 2008. Does gender influence online survey participation? A record-linkage analysis of university faculty online survey response behavior. San Jose, CA: San Jose State Univ.
Spahr, K. M., C. D. Bell, E. M. Gallo, J. E. McCray, and T. S. Hogue. 2021. “Incorporating a multiple-benefit analysis into a stormwater decision-support tool at planning level.” J. Sustainable Water Built Environ. 7 (3): 04021011. https://doi.org/10.1061/JSWBAY.0000952.
Spahr, K. M., C. D. Bell, J. E. McCray, and T. S. Hogue. 2020. “Greening up stormwater infrastructure: Measuring vegetation to establish context and promote cobenefits in a diverse set of US cities.” Urban For. Urban Greening 48 (Feb): 126548. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2019.126548.
Storey, J. D. 2003. “The positive false discovery rate: A Bayesian interpretation and the q-value.” Ann. Stat. 31 (6): 2013–2035. https://doi.org/10.1214/aos/1074290335.
Switzer, D., and M. P. Teodoro. 2018. “Class, race, ethnicity, and justice in safe drinking water compliance.” Social Sci. Q. 99 (2): 524–535. https://doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.12397.
Thurston, H. W., M. A. Taylor, W. D. Shuster, A. H. Roy, and M. A. Morrison. 2010. “Using a reverse auction to promote household level stormwater control.” Environ. Sci. Policy 13 (5): 405–414. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2010.03.008.
US Census Bureau. 2017. “American community survey 5-year estimates.” Accessed March 6, 2019. https://factfinder.census.gov.
US Census Bureau. 2019. American housing survey (AHS). Suitland, MD: US Census Bureau.
Venkataramanan, V., D. Lopez, D. J. McCuskey, D. Kiefus, R. I. McDonald, W. M. Miller, A. I. Packman, and S. L. Young. 2020. “Knowledge, attitudes, intentions, and behavior related to green infrastructure for flood management: A systematic literature review.” Sci. Total Environ. 48 (1): 126548.
Wasserstein, R. L., and N. A. Lazar. 2016. “The ASA Statement on p-values: Context, process, and purpose.” Am. Stat. 70 (2): 129–133. https://doi.org/10.1080/00031305.2016.1154108.
Wilson, B. 2020. “Urban heat management and the legacy of redlining.” J. Am. Plann. Assoc. 86 (4): 443–457. https://doi.org/10.1080/01944363.2020.1759127.
Wolch, J. R., J. Byrne, and J. P. Newell. 2014. “Urban green space, public health, and environmental justice: The challenge of making cities ‘just green enough.’” Landscape Urban Plann. 125 (May): 234–244. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.01.017.
Zhang, K., and T. F. M. Chui. 2018. “A comprehensive review of spatial allocation of LID-BMP-GI practices: Strategies and optimization tools.” Sci. Total Environ. 621 (Apr): 915–929. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.281.

Information & Authors

Information

Published In

Go to Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment
Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment
Volume 7Issue 4November 2021

History

Received: Feb 11, 2021
Accepted: Jun 15, 2021
Published online: Sep 8, 2021
Published in print: Nov 1, 2021
Discussion open until: Feb 8, 2022

Permissions

Request permissions for this article.

Authors

Affiliations

Postdoctoral Researcher, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois St., Golden, CO 80401 (corresponding author). ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4974-3134. Email: [email protected]; [email protected]
Jessica M. Smith [email protected]
Associate Professor, Dept. of Engineering, Design, and Society, Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois St., Golden, CO 80401. Email: [email protected]
John E. McCray, M.ASCE [email protected]
Professor, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois St., Golden, CO 80401. Email: [email protected]
Terri S. Hogue, A.M.ASCE [email protected]
Dean, Earth Resources and Environmental Programs, Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois St., Golden, CO 80401. Email: [email protected]

Metrics & Citations

Metrics

Citations

Download citation

If you have the appropriate software installed, you can download article citation data to the citation manager of your choice. Simply select your manager software from the list below and click Download.

Cited by

  • Factors That Drive Resident Support for Planned Rain Gardens in Urban Neighborhoods, Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment, 10.1061/JSWBAY.SWENG-516, 10, 1, (2024).
  • Professional perceptions of participatory practices in green stormwater infrastructure development, PLOS Water, 10.1371/journal.pwat.0000084, 2, 3, (e0000084), (2023).
  • A place‐based risk appraisal model for exploring residents’ attitudes toward nature‐based solutions to flood risks, Risk Analysis, 10.1111/risa.14118, (2023).
  • Who participates in green infrastructure initiatives and why? Comparing participants and non-participants in Philadelphia’s GI programs, Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 10.1080/1523908X.2022.2128310, (1-15), (2022).
  • Improving the Decision-Making Process for Stormwater Management Using Life-Cycle Costs and a Benefit Analysis, Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment, 10.1061/JSWBAY.0000977, 8, 2, (2022).
  • Community values on governing urban water nature-based solutions in Sydney, Australia, Journal of Environmental Management, 10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.116063, 322, (116063), (2022).
  • Perceived services and disservices of natural treatment systems for urban stormwater: Insight from the next generation of designers, People and Nature, 10.1002/pan3.10300, 4, 2, (481-504), (2022).

View Options

Get Access

Access content

Please select your options to get access

Log in/Register Log in via your institution (Shibboleth)
ASCE Members: Please log in to see member pricing

Purchase

Save for later Information on ASCE Library Cards
ASCE Library Cards let you download journal articles, proceedings papers, and available book chapters across the entire ASCE Library platform. ASCE Library Cards remain active for 24 months or until all downloads are used. Note: This content will be debited as one download at time of checkout.

Terms of Use: ASCE Library Cards are for individual, personal use only. Reselling, republishing, or forwarding the materials to libraries or reading rooms is prohibited.
ASCE Library Card (5 downloads)
$105.00
Add to cart
ASCE Library Card (20 downloads)
$280.00
Add to cart
Buy Single Article
$35.00
Add to cart

Get Access

Access content

Please select your options to get access

Log in/Register Log in via your institution (Shibboleth)
ASCE Members: Please log in to see member pricing

Purchase

Save for later Information on ASCE Library Cards
ASCE Library Cards let you download journal articles, proceedings papers, and available book chapters across the entire ASCE Library platform. ASCE Library Cards remain active for 24 months or until all downloads are used. Note: This content will be debited as one download at time of checkout.

Terms of Use: ASCE Library Cards are for individual, personal use only. Reselling, republishing, or forwarding the materials to libraries or reading rooms is prohibited.
ASCE Library Card (5 downloads)
$105.00
Add to cart
ASCE Library Card (20 downloads)
$280.00
Add to cart
Buy Single Article
$35.00
Add to cart

Media

Figures

Other

Tables

Share

Share

Copy the content Link

Share with email

Email a colleague

Share