What does the character of your neighborhood—particularly its pedestrian-friendliness—have to do with stormwater runoff?
This article, “Watersheds, Walkability, and Stormwater,” published last year in the magazine examines the relationship between development density and stormwater. Author John Jacob explores the sometimes-counterintuitive relationship between higher density and pollutants on a watershed scale, noting, “for a given population, the total pollutant load may be much less at higher density.”
He points out that additional benefits of higher urban densities include the greater walkability of neighborhoods and less dependency on cars, and while these are not necessarily direct benefits to stormwater management, there are some important pluses—in particular, fewer cars mean fewer parking lots.
This 2009 Stormwater article by Lisa Nisenson and Clark Anderson discusses using ordinance and code reviews to examine the effects of parking codes, among other things, on sustainability. Are the parking ratios realistic? Is using shared parking—rather than building additional lots—a possibility? According to a review in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal of a new book, “Rethinking a Lot: The Design and Culture of Parking” by Eran Ben-Joseph, cities typically have overestimated the number of parking spaces needed for a given amount of retail space. “These ratios created an enormous oversupply of parking, designed to accommodate only two or three days of maximum use per year, like Black Friday,” says reviewer Dan Neil. “In some U.S. cities, such as Little Rock, Ark., surface lots cover nearly a third of the land area.” He quotes Ben-Joseph’s estimate that parking lots in the United States cover 3,590 square miles, “a landmass larger than Puerto Rico.”
A website called Walk Score rates the walkability of addresses from 0 to 100 based on proximity to various amenities—shopping, schools, public transit, parks, coffee shops. The higher the number, the more walkable the neighborhood. Locations that are “car dependent” get lower scores. (You can plug your own address into the site and get an instant walk score, along with a map showing different features—restaurants, schools, stores—used in figuring out that number.) The site has been around for a few years, and the scores are used by urban planners, by realtors, and by retailers to estimate how much foot traffic a particular store can expect. It might be a useful tool for stormwater managers, too, when we look at the overall density of the watershed and the land uses within it in relation to water quality.
Upcoming Forester University Webinars
April 18th, - May 25th, 2012
Sediment and Erosion Control
Master Class Series
Join industry expert and bestselling author Jerald S. Fifield, Ph.D., CISEC, CPESC and Tina R. Evans, PE, CISEC for a comprehensive 6-part online master class and workshop series (0.9 CEUs / 9 PDHs) exploring the ins and outs of effective sediment and erosion control plan design and review based on Fifield’s recently released 3rd edition of the bestselling manual Designing and Reviewing Effective Sediment and Erosion Control Plans (included in your Master Class Series package).
April – May 2012
Water Auditing Master Series
Learn the ins-and-outs of water auditing! Join 2010’s Speaker of the Year, Troy Aichele, LEED AP (O+M) of Aichele and Associates LLC for the Water Auditing Master Series, a 3-part webinar/webcast series focusing on getting you up-to-speed on the key attributes, uses, and opportunities in water auditing, as demonstrating step-by-step how to conduct a water audit, avoid the pitfalls, calculate payback periods, and incorporate these into your reports.
* Water Auditing 101: Introduction to Water Auditing
* How to Conduct a Water Audit and Avoid the Pitfalls
* How to Calculate Water Audit Payback Periods and Write Water Audit Reports
April 18th, 2012
Evaluating Erosion, Sediment & Sedimentation
Go beyond the basics! Join Jerald S. Fifield and Tina R. Evans for the first installment of our advanced Sediment and Erosion Control Master Class Series, Evaluating Erosion, Sediment, and Sedimentation, exploring the differences between erosion, sediment and sedimentation and developing an understanding of these variables allowing for the quantification of erosion and sediment yield on a construction site.
Designing Effective Sediment Containment Systems for Construction
Are your containment systems effective? Join Jerald S. Fifield and Tina R. Evans for the second installment of our advanced Sediment and Erosion Control Master Class Series and the first part of our Effective Sediment Containment Systems Series, Designing Effective Sediment Containment Systems for Construction Sites, exploring a scientific and engineering assessment of parameters necessary to capture design size particles while flood flows are discharging from a containment system.
April 26 th, 2012
BMP Nutrient Sources and Transformations -
How to Optimize Nutrient Removal in SCMs
Are your Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) effectively removing nitrogen and phosphorus from runoff? Join Bill Lucas to explore how to select and design SCMs to improve nitrogen and phosphorus retention. After an overview of nitrogen and phosphorous forms, sources, and transformations, Lucas will discuss how nitrogen and phosphorus transformations can be optimized in SCMs; how to select and design SCMs for settings; and how to tailor these programs to meet TMDL requirements more cost effectively.
May 2nd, 2012
Limitations of Commonly Found Construction Site Sediment Control
Are your temporary BMPs reliable? Join Jerald S. Fifield and Tina R. Evans for the third installment of our advanced Sediment and Erosion Control Master Class Series and the second part of our Effective Sediment Containment Systems Series, Limitations of Commonly Found Construction Site Sediment Control BMPs, exploring temporary BMPs, their limitations (e.g., barrier BMPs), and the principals and practice in assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of barrier BMPs.
May 3rd, 2012
How to Conduct a Water Audit and Avoid the Pitfalls
Avoid the water auditing pitfalls! Join Troy Aichele, LEED AP (O+M) of Aichele and Associates LLC for How to Conduct a Water Audit and Avoid the Pitfalls on Thurs., May 3rd to learn the step-by-step process of performing a water audit; the key information, tools, equipment, rebates, and typical pitfalls in performing successful audits; and learn how to use a custom plumbing fixture water audit spreadsheet. Learn how to successfully conduct your own water audit and avoid common water auditing pitfalls to ensure your audit goes smoothly.
May 31st, 2012
How to Calculate Water Audit Payback Periods and Write Water Audit Reports
Maximize your payback! Join Troy Aichele, LEED AP (O+M) of Aichele and Associates LLC for How to Calculate Water Audit Payback Periods and Write Audit Reports on Thurs., May 31st addressing the most essential skill in water auditing: how to calculate payback period and incorporate it effectively in your water audit report. Within this discussion, Aichele will explore how to calculate water audit improvement periods using a custom-built payback spreadsheet calculator; how to calculate use rates; how to incorporate savings, rebates and utility increases into your payback calculations; and how to write a water audit report letter incorporating water audit results and payback periods.