What Is the Detroit Stormwater Hub and What Can It Teach Us?

Posted by Ecogardens

What Is the Detroit Stormwater Hub and What Can It Teach Us? | Stormwater management entities need a way to talk to one another.


Detroit Stormwater Hub is paving the way toward a new kind of discussion, one that promises to be a lot more productive.

One of the biggest problems with stormwater management to date is that individuals, corporate entities, NGOs and municipal institutions have a hard time talking to one another about the issue.

This has several drawbacks, including making it harder to craft a case for green infrastructure – a problem, since many cities still lean toward existing grey stormwater management systems – and reducing the overall effectiveness of individual efforts.

Not everyone took this reality lying down. The City of Detroit wanted to do something different, so they crafted a Stormwater Hub.

Luckily for us, it’s something we can all learn from. Ready to take a page from the rejuvenated auto capital? Keep reading.

What Is the Detroit Stormwater Hub?


What Is the Detroit Stormwater Hub and What Can It Teach Us? | This tool combines the expertise of people across the stormwater and green infrastructure fields.Perhaps this doesn’t need to be said, but the point of stormwater management is to reduce the amount and effects of stormwater on a citywide, regional and watershed-level basis.

Which is to say, stormwater efforts on the individual or neighborhood level are amazing, but without relaying those efforts to the larger community, we miss out on the synergistic benefits made possible through collaboration.

Detroit’s goal was to reduce the barriers to communication by creating a single tool available to all.

“This tool would help Detroiters understand, collaborate, and ultimately track the progress of GSI city-wide,” their website explains. “It would be an accurate and trusted source of information developed from within the community.”

To accomplish this, the Erb Family Foundation, the Nature Conservancy and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department came together to build it. Their main goals are fourfold:

  • Create a citywide resource for understanding GSI practices
  • Get the community on board with various GSI projects
  • Promote existing and new infrastructure to help advance GSI
  • Prove through resources, publications and communication the success of green infrastructure and stormwater management practices

On their site, you can see examples of the projects they have put up for general consumption as well as the GSI knowledge base. From here, experts and newcomers alike can draw the information they need to implement stormwater solutions in their own backyards – figurative or otherwise.

Why Should We Emulate the Stormwater Hub?


What Is the Detroit Stormwater Hub and What Can It Teach Us? | We should all emulate the hub if we want to make the best use of our stormwater management resources.

So why do we care?

In a nutshell, because the hub provides an amazing model for how the rest of us can improve GSI efforts across the globe. To capture stormwater at its source, route the remaining flow out of our cities, protect waterways and conserve this precious resource, we absolutely must work together.

The hub shows that while this isn’t necessarily easy, it can happen.

We hope our own Chicago will soon follow suit. In the meantime, we can keep doing our part to implement green infrastructure wherever possible.

Want to work with us to make that goal come true?



Topics: Stormwater Management

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