Sustainable Communities Initiative

Illinois, known for its rivers, farmland, and endless skies, also has one of the fastest growing solar energy markets in the country. Communities are setting carbon reduction goals, incorporating green stormwater infrastructure into rainwater plans, and becoming more walkable, bikeable, and livable. The Sustainable Communities Initiative connects Illinois communities to University of Illinois scholars and students, bringing the latest research findings to decision-makers, and helping researchers understand and address Illinois' most pressing sustainability challenge.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Building an Equitable Strategy and Workforce: Through this project, we are conducting a needs assessment to assess social justice and workforce development as co-benefits of green stormwater infrastructure.

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Watershed Planning: We are connecting communities with watershed planning needs to University of Illinois faculty and students. If your community would like to be considered, please contact Lisa Merrifield,

Green Infrastructure in the Right of Way Survey: During the summer of 2019, the SCI conducted a preliminary survey to gauge interest in using right of ways to capture stormwater. Study results can be found in this blog post.

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Laura Payne
Professor, Extension Specialist, Director of the Office of Recreation & Park Resources (ORPR)