Onondaga County, the City of Syracuse, Syracuse University’s Environmental Finance Center and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry co-hosted the first-ever national Community Summit on Green Infrastructure in Syracuse in October at the SUNY-ESF Gateway Center. The Summit brought together delegates from EPA-identified Green Infrastructure Partner Communities and Green Infrastructure Technical Assistance Communities, as well as other metropolitan areas making advancements in stormwater management across the country.
The goal for the Summit was to illustrate the role and value of green infrastructure (GI) in communities across the country, accelerating GI as a method of choice for stormwater management and taking the EPA-Green Infrastructure Community Partnership to the next level.
The summit was organized around five key thematic areas refined during numerous discussions with the EPA through the summer. The themes were green infrastructure project and program development, innovative financing approaches, operation and maintenance, performance monitoring and new technologies, and promoting adoption through public outreach and education. For each topic, facilitated dialogue focused on the benefits, challenges, and opportunities that green infrastructure presents to different types of communities. Onondaga County, Baltimore, Lancaster, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh and others all played leadership roles in these thematic sessions, presenting community case studies or panel remarks to provide benchmarks for discussions.
Several key EPA officials were active participants in the Summit, including Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe; Acting Assistant Administrator for Water, Nancy Stoner; Special Advisor to the Administrator for Environmental Justice, Lisa Garcia; Region 2 Administrator, Judith Enck; National Green Infrastructure Coordinator, Chris Kloss; and Clean Water Division Director for Region 2, Joan Matthews. A press conference was also held at the Summit where the EPA released its 2013 Green Infrastructure Strategic Agenda.
Best management practices that emerged from the Summit are currently being compiled into a recommendations report which will be available for download in the coming months.
For more, please visit the GI Summit Page.