The Houston-Galveston region is forecast to grow by 3.5 million people in the next 25 years. With that growth will come new homes, businesses, and roads, bringing billions of square feet of impervious surface area and stormwater drainage infrastructure that will alter natural drainage patterns and impact stormwater quality.
Conventional stormwater management includes acres of concrete-lined detention ponds and expensive underground infrastructure that does little to improve water quality. With all this anticipated growth, the region has a great opportunity to better integrate natural features into new developments in ways that will reduce infrastructure costs, improve water quality, and enhance the visual appeal of our communities.
The Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Designing for Impact project promotes the use of Low Impact Development techniques in new development. While there is growing interest in Low Impact Development throughout the Houston-Galveston region, there are still barriers to its broad acceptance, such as lack of public awareness, misperceptions, and incompatible local development codes. Designing for Impact provides information and strategies for educating the public about Low Impact Development functions, benefits, and solutions to overcome barriers to implementation.
This project includes three related components: publication of a Low Impact Development guide for local governments, education through a workshop series, and an interactive mapping tool highlighting a wide variety of Low Impact Development projects already implemented in the region.