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Assessment of Green Stormwater Infrastructure Capacity to Mitigate Flooding and Extreme Heat in Vulnerable Areas

Authors: Nicole Marks, Villanova University, Hossein Hosseiny, Villanova University, Michael Crimmins, Villanova University, Peleg Kremer*, Villanova University, Virginia Smith, Villanova University
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Water Resources and Hydrology, Environmental Science
Keywords: Urban stormwater, local flooding, urban surface temperature, social-environmental
Session Type: Guided Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Understanding urban responses to extreme climate events is a key aspect to city management, planning, and development. This research assesses the exposure of residents of Philadelphia, PA to flooding and high surface temperatures, and offers recommendations for efficient green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) placement for climate event mitigation. Inundation (stormwater runoff) depths were estimated by the NRCS and modified rational methods and compared in order to generate probability of inundation maps, impact of inundation maps, and likelihood of inundation maps. Surface temperature data was integrated with inundation data to create an environmental vulnerability index of the city. Social variables including poverty rate, percentage of population over 65 years old, population density, and percentage of buildings with basements were used to develop a social vulnerability index. A quadrant analysis of combined environmental and social vulnerability indices was utilized in order to define areas of the city with the highest likelihood for exposure. Hotspot analysis was performed on the combined social and environmental vulnerability data in order to identify areas of Philadelphia that would benefit the most from new GSI installation. Current GSI subtypes including trenches, bumpouts, rain gardens, wetlands, basins, tree trenches, planters, pervious pavement, swales, and green roofs were examined to determine their multifunctionality in flood and heat mitigation. Findings suggest that new GSI installation efforts should be focused on wetland, green roof, and basin subtype construction in the South Philly and Kensington regions of Philadelphia, PA.

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