2020 journal article

Green infrastructure site selection in the Walnut Creek wetland community: A case study from southeast Raleigh, North Carolina


By: D. Hasala n, S. Supak n & L. Rivers n

author keywords: Green infrastructure; Participatory mapping; Minority communities; Urban planning; Flooding; Locally undesirable land uses (LULUs)
Source: Web Of Science
Added: March 10, 2020

Recent findings have shown that minority communities are frequently underserved by green infrastructure developments relative to non-minority communities, as local installations of green infrastructure often follow patterns of gentrification. Antipathy from these communities toward existing environmental management efforts present further obstacles related to green infrastructure placement. While hydrologic modeling has been highly utilized in decision support for green infrastructure placement, this technique does not consider ownership, access concerns, or the importance of visibility. Alternatively, participatory geographic information systems (PPGIS) can provide a different perspective from hydrologic models, as they have the potential to forecast community perceptions of green infrastructure utility, rather than hydrological benefit. We use a mixed-methods approach to optimize green infrastructure site-selection that considers hydrologic vulnerabilities in the context of place-based knowledge and historical realities. Residents' perceptions of the locations of nuisance flooding were reported via participatory mapping within a paper-based survey (n = 95) conducted in the communities surrounding Walnut Creek, a historically African-American community in Raleigh, North Carolina. Hotspot analysis was used to identify statistically significant clustering, which was related to a correspondence between participant-indicated nuisance flooding sites and high flow accumulation cells. Comparison of the participatory and hydrologic hotspot analyses show some geospatial overlap for potential green infrastructure placement. We propose that, when undertaken with community input, green infrastructure installation in these downstream areas may help offset localized flooding patterns while facilitating greater trust with stormwater and environmental practitioners.