Green Infrastructure in Michigan: An Integrated Assessment of Its Use, Barriers and Opportunities
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Green Infrastructure in Michigan: An Integrated Assessment of Its Use, Barriers and Opportunities

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    Green Infrastructure in Michigan: An Integrated Assessment of Its Use, Barriers, and Opportunities Project was conducted by Lawrence Technological University, Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc., and Dr. Avik Basu of the University of Michigan. The project focused on developing an understanding of drivers leading to the successful implementation of green infrastructure (GI) in the state of Michigan including identifying specific challenges and highlighting key initiatives and pilot projects. In addition to synthesizing the state of GI in Michigan, the project identified key barriers to extensive implementation of GI and strategies to overcome those barriers. This was accomplished through an extensive community engagement process that included focus groups with professional and community organizations, visioning sessions in specific communities, a stakeholder survey, and professional presentations. Overall, over one thousand community leaders, professionals, and engaged citizens across the state were engaged through this process. Key barriers to GI implementation included conflicting codes/ordinance​s, cost, lack of financing, maintenance, municipal and public acceptance, lack of regional planning, and uncertainty in performance. Opportunities for removing those barriers include: • Revising local codes and ordinances to allow for and/or promote GI and establishing funding mechanisms for both implementation and maintenance. • Identifying and cultivating local leaders (both elected and civic) who can advocate for GI implementation.​• Determining local values (such as wildlife, habitat, aesthetics, climate resiliency, etc.) and develop GI implementation strategies that align the benefits of GI with those values. • Establishing programs for simplified long-​term monitoring and maintenance of GI. • Developing a framework to integrate local and regional planning and policies to encourage coordination across agencies and jurisdictions.​• Conducting public education and outreach projects to assist public works professionals and citizen with understanding the role of GI in their communities. Finally, the views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or position of Michigan Sea Grant.
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