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.

If your community has a sustainability challenge you would like us to address, please contact Lisa Merrifield.

Illinois Sustainability at a Glance

Understanding local and statewide trends help us understand opportunities and needs in the state. Available soon.

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.

Articles about the project:

Watershed Planning: We are connecting communities with watershed planning needs to Unversity 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.

Webinars and Blog Posts


Rain Garden Photo Credit: Gabriel Harper-Hagen