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Research and Development

A pilot implementation and monitoring program is a key element of DEP’s adaptive management approach to implementing green infrastructure within New York City, where lessons learned are used to guide future planning, design, and construction efforts. Beginning in 2010, more than 30 green infrastructure source controls have been constructed and monitored as part of this pilot program. These controls include right-of-way green infrastructure like enhanced tree pits, rooftop practices like blue roofs and green roofs, subsurface detention systems with open bottoms for infiltration, porous pavements, and bioretention. In general, the purpose of the monitoring effort is to: a) evaluate the effectiveness of various green infrastructure practices at managing the 1-inch rainfall event, and b) provide data that will allow DEP to extrapolate the runoff reduction benefits on a large scale. Additional background information on the specific design and monitoring plans for these source controls can be found in NYC’s Green Infrastructure Plan and 2011 Update.

2012 Green Infrastructure Pilot Monitoring Report
Monitoring analyses through 2012 have demonstrated that all pilot source control types are providing effective stormwater management, particularly for storms with depths of one-inch or less.
Download the report (PDF)

2011 Preliminary Pilot Monitoring Results
This report summarizes initial monitoring results and preliminary observations made in 2011 for a number of individual source controls.
Download the report (PDF)

2009-2010 Green infrastructure Pilot Projects
Enhanced Tree Pit at Autumn Avenue
Streetside Infiltration Swale at Howard Avenue
Blue Roof and Green Roof, PS 118, Queens

Green Infrastructure Co-Benefits Study

DEP is conducting a comprehensive green infrastructure benefit and cost evaluation. By directly monitoring different types of green infrastructure as well as using data from literature review, DEP is working to identify and quantify non-stormwater benefits. Some of the benefits DEP is working to identify and quantify are:

  • Carbon sequestration
  • Urban heat island mitigation
  • Reduced energy demand in buildings
  • Improved habitat and ecosystem services
  • Improved air quality
  • Community revitalization
  • Flood mitigation
  • Improved urban agriculture opportunities
  • Green jobs

The study will also identify and quantify the life-cycle environmental costs and economic costs of the green infrastructure projects being studied. These benefits and costs will be added to a database to support comparisons and evaluations of green infrastructure used throughout the city.

Nine different green infrastructure projects are currently being monitored: right-of-way bioswales, green roof, blue roof, a bioretention area, a constructed wetland, and porous pavements. The study will be completed in 2014.

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