Communities across the U.S. Midwest are seeking solutions to sewer overflows, basement backups, and other costly effects of urban flooding. New green infrastructure design templates now are available to help Midwest and Great Lakes region communities combat urban flooding and rethink stormwater management. The templates emerged an ongoing collaboration among Chicago-area government, nonprofit, and for-profit groups to address urban flooding.

The templates, available for free online, were created by Delta Institute and Guidon Design Inc. The templates include technical drawings with details and cross-sections, construction notes, and cost and maintenance information for five different types of green infrastructure:

  • rain gardens,
  • stormwater planters,
  • permeable pavement,
  • underground storage, and
  • bioswales.

The design templates are part of a toolkit that also includes guidance for municipal stormwater managers and decision-makers on green infrastructure implementation.

“Green infrastructure is often an important part of the solution to urban flooding, but whether and how to build it can be a stumbling block for communities,” said Eve Pytel, director of strategic priorities for the Delta Institute. “This toolkit provides users with a clearer understanding of how to identify opportunities for green infrastructure implementation, which green infrastructure treatments are most suitable for a specific site or purpose, and how to make informed decisions based on reasonable cost estimates.”

The Delta Institute worked with the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative to shape the project. Delta Institute is one of more than 30 members of the collaborative, which is facilitated by the Chicago-based Metropolitan Planning Council. The goal of the collaborative is to improve coordination between municipalities, government agencies, planners, designers and other key stakeholders in stormwater management.