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Water: Green Infrastructure

Research Programs

Villanova Field Research

Research programs across the country are engaged in laboratory, modeling, and field studies addressing the design and performance of green infrastructure approaches. Current research spans multiple scales and examines a variety of benefits. Visit the programs below to learn more about the latest tools and results.


U.S. EPA Aging Water Infrastructure Research - Includes research on application or adoption of new and innovative infrastructure designs, management procedures, and operational approaches. 

U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Stations: Urban Forests, Environmental Quality and Human Health

U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station: Urban Ecosystems and Social Dynamics Program

USGS Non-Point Evaluation Studies

Stormwater Management: Structural Soils in Urban Forestry  Exit EPA Disclaimer - Partners for this research initiative include Virginia Tech's Urban Forestry Gateway, Cornell's Urban Horticulture Institute, and the U.S. Forest Service's Center for Urban Forest Research.  Available resources include a 55-page stormwater management practice manual, a PowerPoint presentation, and information on four demonstration sites across the country.

North Carolina State University Exit EPA Disclaimer - The NCSU Stormwater Engineering Group performs research on the function and impacts of green infrastructure practices such as bioretention areas, green roofs, stormwater wetlands, permeable pavements, water harvesting systems, and other innovative treatment practices.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Exit EPA Disclaimer - SIU Edwardsville is currently involved in a collaborative research initiative focusing specifically on evaluating the benefits and performance capabilities of green roofs.

Temple University Exit EPA Disclaimer - Temple University's Center for Sustainable Communities develops and promotes new approaches to protect and preserve quality of life through sustainable development. A working resource for government agencies, community organizations, and developers, the center provides objective information and services to improve decision-making relative to land use and water resources planning in addition to conducting interdisciplinary research and offering educational and community outreach programs.

University of Florida Exit EPA Disclaimer - The University of Florida's Program for Resource Efficient Communities promotes the adoption of best design, construction, and management practices that measurably reduce energy and water consumption and environmental degradation in new residential development projects. The program supports the implementation of resource efficient community development practices, including green infrastructure, through direct training and consulting activities, applied research projects and case studies, academic courses and degree programs, and evaluation of "green" certification standards.

Drexel University Exit EPA Disclaimer - Drexel University's Water and Sustainable Land Use Program evaluates green infrastructure application in urban areas.

University of Minnesota Exit EPA Disclaimer - The University of Minnesota Stormwater Research Program is currently developing new treatment technologies, providing guidance for assessment and maintenance of treatment practices, investigating groundwater impacts from stormwater infiltration, and improving models for runoff and treatment practices.

University of Maryland Exit EPA Disclaimer - UMD’s bioretention lab researches the performance of rain gardens and swales in a variety of contexts.

University of New Hampshire Exit EPA Disclaimer - UNH's Stormwater Center is currently involved in research projects covering a wide range of green infrastructure practices, including vegetated swales, porous pavements, tree boxes and pocket wetlands.

University of Washington Exit EPA Disclaimer - The UW Green Futures Lab (GFL) develops innovative approaches to the ecological planning and design of public space through interdisciplinary research, design and education. Faculty and students advance solutions related to urban green infrastructure — streets, trails, parks, open spaces, drainages and shorelines — systems that together comprise interconnected networks of the public realm. Such high performance multi-functional networks support successful dense urban settlement, providing facilities that may help to protect climate, preserve biodiversity, foster equitable health and improve quality of life. The GFL works with communities to envision their sustainable futures, exploring solutions that incorporate low-impact development strategies, community space, habitat restoration and pedestrian and bicycle mobility.

Villanova University Exit EPA Disclaimer - Villanova University's Urban Stormwater Partnership focuses research efforts on innovative stormwater management practices, most of which can be categorized as green infrastructure techniques.

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